How do you treat a stroke victim?

  WhiteTruckMan 22:24 09 Jul 07
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Nothing complicated here-I hope! I heard that when someone has a stroke then immediate hospital treatment (or within 3 hours) can significantly lower the permanant damage done by a stroke. But what is it that they do in a hospital that maybe couldnt be done by anyone? Is it drugs? surgery? Oxygen? Oxygen in a pressure chamber (to force more oxygen into the tissues)? Its the immediate treatment that I dont know, as all I have ever heard is to get someone to hospital asap. Does anyone know if something could be done from a first aid perspective?

WTM

  Forum Editor 22:37 09 Jul 07

is to act fast.

1. Call an ambulance, and let the ambulance call centre person know that you suspect the victim has had a stroke.

2. If the person is conscious, lie them down with their head and shoulders supported (use pillows or cushions). This lowers blood pressure in the brain.

3. Lie the person on his or her side so that saliva can drain from the mouth. Loosen any tight clothing.

4. Assure the person that help is on the way. Do NOT give him/her anything to eat or drink.


5. If the person becomes unconscious, put them in the recovery position — to prevent anything (blood, saliva, or their tongue) from blocking the windpipe and choking them. To do this, carefully roll the person onto his/her stomach, with the arm and leg on one side straight beside their body, and the other arm and leg bent to prop up the upper and lower body. Tilt the person's chin back to straighten the throat.

Above all, if the person is conscious, be as reassuring as possible and try to keep the patient calm. Don't let other people crowd around.

  Forum Editor 22:44 09 Jul 07

Take immediate action to:

1. Limit the size and effects of the stroke.

2. Prevent further stroke.

3. Re-establish blood circulation to the brain.

4. Prevent any complications due to weakness eg. pneumonia, pressure sores, limb contractures and pain

5. Ensure sufficient fluid and food intake.

There's not much else they can immediately do other than administer drugs to

1. Reduce the risk of blood clots forming

2. Help protect nerve cells near the stroke area from being damaged.

3. Reduce swelling to the brain

4. Stop bleeding into the brain

5. Avoid blood pressure falling too low

But a lot depends on the type and severity of the stroke.

  Bingalau 23:56 09 Jul 07

I think a soluble aspirin might help. If I am wrong I am sure one of our resident doctors will soon correct me. I hope so anyway.

  Input Overload 00:55 10 Jul 07

My dad recently had a stroke & since recovered but I was surprised when reading up on the condition that it can occur at any age. Having ones blood pressure checked regularly & cutting down on salt & alcohol/smoking can lessen the chances of a stroke, but just because you are young and feel ok does not mean you are not at risk from a stroke that can lead to paralysis & blindness. It certainly got me to have my blood pressure checked & booked in for another test in six months.

  stolensilver 01:11 10 Jul 07

This is a good summary of the advances in stroke treatment over the years:

click here

Unfortunately most hospitals are not yet able to offer tPA within 3 hours of the onset of symptoms but there is ongoing work to develop 24/7 teams for the immediate and aggressive treatment of strokes. It isn't my area of expertise so I don't know when they will be up and running.

  Forum Editor 06:54 10 Jul 07

I think that aspirin may be a useful preventative measure, but I'm not sure it helps someone immediately after a stroke. There are two distintc types of stroke: ischemic (clot-caused) and hemorrhagic (bleeding). I think aspirin may be helpful in preventing ischemic strokes, but I'm not medically-qualified, and may be talking rubbish.

  Bingalau 07:44 10 Jul 07

FE. Yes it was only a guess on my part, although somewhere in the back of my mind the name aspirin came through at the sight of the word "stroke". So I assume I must have read it somewhere.

  €dstowe 08:08 10 Jul 07

This is not the place to be discussing medical emergencies - or medical matters at all.

CORRECT information about the first aid treatment of stroke should be obtained from a suitably qualified body such as the Red Cross.

I have been admonished in the past about discussing medical matters on here so I feel it only fair that I should reciprocate.

Treating stroke wrongly can be very damaging - worse than no treatment at all.

If you suspect stroke or heart attack the first thing to do is call an ambulance and take advice from there.

  laurie53 08:10 10 Jul 07

My wife's had a stroke, and I've had a heart attack.

First thing the ambulance men did on arrival, in both cases, was to slip a low dose aspirin under the tongue.

  sunny staines 08:17 10 Jul 07

my wife had a stroke at 38 years this org was very helpful click here

a national voluntry group with a newsletter and local groups

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