Pardon the personal note unrelated to legal marketing. I lost my brother a couple of years ago to the complications associated with a series of minor strokes (possibly Vioxx related), but that isn’t the reason for this post.
His son sent me an email yesterday that included three simple tests he says will help determine if a person is having a stroke, and asked recipients to forward it on to everyone they know. I decided to post part of his email below:
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions. Remember the first 3 letters in “STR”oke!:
S – Ask the individual to SMILE.
T – Ask the person to TALK by speaking a SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (e.g. “It is sunny out today.”)
R – Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher
The above test was presented by researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill Medical School at a conference hosted by the American Stroke Association, although the latter hasn’t taken a position nor endorsed the test. It doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying if you have any question that someone may be experiencing a stroke. Go for it.
The ASA does provide the following stroke warning signs:
*Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
*Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
*Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
*Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
*Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
Call 9-1-1 immediately if you experience symptoms!
That assumes of course the person experiencing any of the above symptoms is capable of calling for help. Hopefully, someone else will be nearby to both render the test and make the emergency call.