After the onset of stroke, early detection can greatly reduce the chances of becoming bed-ridden or even dying.
The importance of knowing stroke's symptoms for an early detection.
With a blocked blood vessel, you probably gradually lose consciousness, are unable to stand and fall down.
But that's not all. Many symptoms occur.
First comes a speech impediment, paralysis, numbness, consciousness drifts away.
Additionally, although vision may be clear, what is seen may not register, or knowledge of how to use items may be forgotten.
Stroke has so many symptoms.
With the brain connected to nerves and muscles from the entire body, symptoms occur all over. However, it may be difficult to determine if these conditions are connected to stroke.
Actually, stroke has an easily noticeable sign that occurs before its onset. If you are aware of this sign, you may be able to prevent the stroke, or if a stroke occurs, the chances of early treatment will increase.
The brain is separated into many sections, perform multiple functions.
For example, this section is known as the motor area which controls the muscles attached to the arms and legs. This part is known as Wernicke's area, controlling language comprehension. The language you speak and listen to as well as written words.
This is the area used to comprehend these things. Also, this is known as the optical area.
Although the eyes are over here, the signals that enter from here are sent to the back. Then, this area starts to function in order to comprehend the received information.
If these areas are damaged, symptoms in accordance with this will begin to manifest.
For example, if the motor area is damaged, you will experience paralysis. If Wernicke's area is damaged, you will lose your ability of language comprehension. This section is experiencing problems with vision, and half of field of view has been lost. Therefore, depending on the area of the brain which is damaged, the symptoms also change.
However, with so many symptoms related to stroke, it is very difficult to determine if a stroke actually occurred, even for a specialist.
However, there are specific areas which are more commonly affected by strokes. Recently, we realized that there is a regular pattern of symptoms that occur during stroke. If you remember the combinations of the symptoms that occur, even a layman could determine if it is a stroke in 70-80% of cases.
FAST: A typical symptom of stroke is FAST, impediments in the Face, Arm, Speech and Time.
When you notice these symptoms, make a note of the Time and call an ambulance.
Take the initial of each word, and that spells "FAST".
The first letter in FAST is F, for "face". Check for any paralysis in the face.
Specifically, when you smile. Pay attention to the mouth.
At this time, if the edges of the mouth are curved upward, there is no problem.
However, in the case of a stroke, as you can see, one of the edges curves upward, whereas the other edge does not. When only one edge curves up, there may be an imbalance between the two sides. When this happens, it should be assumed that there is a high possibility of a stroke having occurred.
Usually, this check is intended to be performed by a family member.
However, in the morning, when facing a mirror to shave or put on some make-up, you use many of your facial muscles. This is the most likely time that someone may notice this symptom on their own.
The second letter, A, is for "arm". Paralysis in the arm.
Heavy paralysis will prevent you from raising your arm. This is a definite indication. However, with light paralysis, it may be difficult. We often request that the individual extend their arms with palms up. Maintaining this position, close their eyes and keep this position for a while.
Like that. You're holding it well. In the case of a stroke, the muscles weaken and the palms start to turn inward and start to droop. Depending on the severity of the stroke, the arms may twist to bring the palms into an inward-facing position.
This is the easiest method to identify light paralysis.
The next letter in FAST is S for "speech".
People who have trouble speaking, may have trouble with the movement of the muscles around the mouth and tongue, often slurring their words. This can be checked by asking them to repeat short sentences, such as "We're having pleasant weather today."
With speech impediments like aphasia, they may only get as far as "We're・・・ um, ahhh・・・"
or respond with completely different words.
And finally, we have T for "time." The time of occurrence.
This is literally, when the stroke happened. This is an extremely important information.
These days, treatment of stroke is a race against time.
Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) must be administered within 4 and a half hours.
Intravascular treatment has a time limit of 8 hours for administering a catheter
to remove the blood clot. Therefore, knowing the exact time of stroke occurrence allows the doctors to determine if treatment is still possible and the remaining time for effective treatment.
The time that the stroke occurred. Thus, it is important to accurately note the time
and properly relay that information.
This information will be repeatedly asked by the paramedics, and even after arriving at the hospital. If there are problems with the Face, Arm and Speech, make a note of the time and call the hospital and an emergency team immediately. This is also one of the reasons it is called "FAST".
When and how should we go to the hospital?
Dr. Minematsu, says that an ambulance should be called when the occurrence of a stroke is suspected. Would it be acceptable to go to the hospital in a private vehicle or taxi?
here are many people who do this after a light stroke.
However, if another stroke occurs while driving or when you are in a vehicle as a passenger,there is a high risk that the next stroke may be a major stroke and causing a car accident.
If there are any stroke symptoms, driving should be out of the question.
For stroke, advances are achieved almost on a daily basis in terms of treatments and prevention. What remains is for patients to reach the hospital as soon as possible.
Therefore, it is important that everybody remember FAST.
People should practice effective prevention. Following the occurrence of symptoms, people must quickly make their way to a medical facility in order to receive prompt treatment.