New stroke guidelines

A new campaign by the Heart and Stroke Foundation hopes to get people to act fast in reacting to someone with a potential heart attack or stroke

A new campaign by the Heart and Stroke Foundation hopes to get people to act fast in reacting to someone with a potential heart attack or stroke.

They’ve changed the guidelines for spotting a stroke to encourage more victims to take immediate action.

The previous guidelines were a bit tough to remember, so they’re hoping this new acronym will be easier. And they’ve created a video to help them stick.

If you’re having a stroke, your world dissolves around you.

Watching the symptoms on video, they may seem obvious.

But according to Hamilton General Hospital Neurologist, Dr. Sashi Perera, only 30% of stroke victims go to the hospital in time: “Time lost is brain lost. Because the longer you wait for treatment, the more damage you are going to get in the brain.”

If you’re having a stroke you have about 3 to 4 hours to get to the hospital for treatment. Otherwise, you risk permanent brain damage.

Dr. Perera: “It’s not just minor disability. You could be bedridden, you can’t move one side, you can’t communicate with your loved ones.”

That’s why the Heart and Stroke Foundation has released new guidelines for spotting a stroke.

Act F-A-S-T:

Is your FACE drooping?

Can you raise both ARMS?

Is your SPEECH slurred or jumbled?

A ‘yes’ to any of these questions means that it’s TIME to call 911 immediately because your symptoms may be stroke related.

Dr. Perera: “More than 90 per cent of the patients we see will have either weakness of the face, arm or trouble speaking.”

Many strokes can be treated with a clot busting drug that restores blood flow to the brain. And the sooner it can be delivered, the more likely you are to fully recover.

So if a possible stroke victim is reluctant to visit the hospital, remind them what those extra hours can cost.

Dr. Perera says the E.R. sees a spike in stroke visits on Boxing Day, because a lot of people think they can wait until after the holidays. But if you have had a stroke, that extra time may could cause irreversible damage.

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