Saturday, January 23, 2016

How Well People Recognize And Respond To A Stroke?

Stroke can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of age or sex. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke is the 5th leading cause of death and a major cause of disability for adults in the United States. About 800,000 Americans have a stroke and 130,000 of them die. For those who survived, more than two-third will have some kinds of disability.

Prevention of a needless death or permanent disability is possible if stroke symptoms can quickly be recognized. If a stroke victim can get to hospital within 3 hours of the first symptoms, doctors can infuse drugs to break up blood clots (most common cause of stroke). Stroke patients getting the treatment in time are more likely to make a full recovery and have less chance to have lasting disability.

But a new study reported that this type of acute treatment is underused, mainly because stroke victims often delay calling an ambulance. Their paper was published online September 29, 2015 in the journal ‘Stroke’.

Researchers from the University of Stirling and other institutions conducted telephone surveys of 2,500 people in Ingham County, Michigan, in the Midwestern U.S. and 2,500 people in Newcastle upon Tyne in northeastern England. Overall response rate was 27.4 percent, and the mean age of participants was 55 years with 58 percent were female.

The participants were provided with potential stroke scenarios and asked how they would respond. 70 percent of the people in the United States could recognize whether a person was having a stroke, compared to 63 percent of people in the United Kingdom. When people were asked how likely they were to call emergency services in response to a stroke, about 55 percent of Americans and 52 percent of the English said they would call an ambulance.

A quick way to know the signs of stroke is to remember FAST, which stands for Face-Arms-Speech-Time. In general, stroke victims might have Facial drooping or feel numb on one side, might be unable to lift up both Arms, might have slurred or garbled Speech and no Time should be wasted to call emergency services to send someone who shows any of the symptoms mentioned, even if the symptoms go away. Other likely stroke symptoms can include numbness or weakness on one side of the body, confusion, trouble seeing on one side, loss of coordination or balance, or severe headache.

For a person who is alone while having a stroke, it is more difficult for him or her to recognize some of the symptoms like changes in facial muscles or slurred speech. Moreover, the possibility of a stroke can cause one a lot of anxiety. A common response to that anxiety is denial that could lead the individuals experiencing symptoms and their loved ones to dismiss the symptoms as normal or ascribe them to something. Obviously, such acts can only delay treatment.

No comments:

Post a Comment