Stroke; recognising the signs

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A stroke is a medical condition where part of the brain suffers from a lack of blood flow & oxygen. Stroke can lead to severe disability and or death. A stroke is a true medical emergency in that a LOT can be done to reduce and even reverse the brain damage, but time is critical. Stroke victims need to be seen in a high-level hospital facility within 3 hours, in order to optimise the outcome. Time can mean the difference between life and death, normal functioning and severe disability.

One of the challenges is to recognise a stroke and because the signs can be subtle, it is not always simple. One useful approach is based on the first three letters of the word stroke. If you think someone might be having a stroke ask them to:

  • S – smile. If the smile is not even and symmetrical, be worried.
  • T – talk. If the person cannot say a simple short sentence (e.g. I like chicken soup) clearly, be worried.
  • R – raise both arms. If the person cannot raise both arms fully, be worried.

Remembering these simple signs could help you save a life, or a quality life, one day.


About the Author:

Colin was a medical practitioner (GP) from 1988 to 2000. Since then he has worked in the wellness field, designing, developing and delivering various products and services. Out of clinical practice for many years now he no longer practices medicine formally but retains a keen interest in helping people become more-well versions of themselves. He acts as a wellness coach and not as a medical practitioner today. Colin's approach and philosophy is based on empowerment: the notion that people only need a little help to make choices they usually already want to anyway - it's about respect and support rather than instruction or correction. Colin lives at the Vaal Dam with his wife Cathy. He spends time walking mountains, cycling, motorbike riding, kayaking, sailing and always looking for better & better balance.

One Comment

  1. Ntswaki Sedie November 8, 2018 at 8:05 am - Reply

    The info about stroke is very helpful for me thank you so much

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