- Sudden weakness or paralysis of the arm, leg or face on one side of the body
- Paresthesia or impaired sensation in the limbs (such as an arm or leg feeling numb)
- Sudden impaired speech or understanding (confusion)
- Facial muscle spasms
- Sudden impaired balance and instability
- Sudden impaired vision, double vision, blurred vision and fogginess
- Sudden, unusual intense headaches
Sometimes the symptoms of a stroke are difficult to recognize. Unfortunately, lack of knowledge and alertness can lead to a tragedy that could be prevented or reduced. Three simple questions can assist in identifying a stroke:
- Speak: ask the patient to say “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”. Was he/she able to control the speed of speech with the words clearly pronounced?
- Smile: ask the patient to smile. Can he/she control the smile, or is the mouth crooked?
- Raise: ask the patient to raise both arms. Was he/she able to raise both at the same time and in a coordinated manner?
If any one or more of these signs is obser ved , even transiently , or if the answer to one of these questions is negative, this is a sign of a stroke . Do not postpone , hesitate or wait . Go urgently and immediately to the nearest hospital.
The window of opportunities for optimum treatment only lasts 4.5 hours. Therefore going to a hospital immediately is mandatory. After diagnosis, these patients will be treated with a blood clot solvent through intravenous administration, or alternatively, in special cases, an urgent catheterization of the blocked blood vessel. These treatments can save lives and prevent handicap. They increase by 30-50 percent the patient’s chances of remaining with no disability or with a negligible one