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How can I help someone having a stroke?

It’s Natio

nal Stroke Week this week – August 8 – 14th.

If you’ve always wanted to know what to do to help someone having a stroke, the answer comes down to one simple word – act FAST!

F.A.S.T. stands for the widely accepted actions you should do immediately if you suspect someone is having a stroke.

F.A.S.T. stands for Face – Arms – Speech – Time.

Face – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their mouth/face look like it’s drooping?

Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. Do they struggle to lift one arm or does it “drift” downward?

Speech – Ask the person to say something. Does their speech sound strange or slurred, as if they were drunk?

Time – If the person show ANY of these signs, and particularly if they show ALL of them, act fast. Call 000 and report a suspected stroke.

It’s important to make a note of the time the person started exhibiting symptoms, if you can. There are certain clot-busting medications that can be given to a person who has suffered a stroke but they are only effective within a limited time frame so its important for the ambulance crew or other medical staff to have a reasonably accurate time for when the stroke actually began.

After you call the ambulance, stay with the stroke victim. Keep them calm and reassured that help is on the way. Importantly do not let them fall asleep, even if they say they are feeling “tired”. Try to keep them awake.

Of course if they fall unconscious be prepared to conduct CPR if required.

Do not give them any food or drink or medication as you may not know which type of stroke they have had. (There are two basic types.)

Also do not let them talk you out of calling an ambulance or let them convince you they just feel “unwell” and want to go see their own doctor. If they are exhibiting the above symptoms, know they need urgent medical care and an ambulance is the right call to make.

Do not, under ANY circumstances let them drive themselves to hospital or you drive them.

Handling strokes is just one of the many things you learn in our First Aid Training courses. To book your place simply click this link


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