Is it a stroke? Check these signs FAST! Just a week ago, I had a chance to give a lecture on strokes to a group of volunteer workers. Most of them were quite aware of the disease, since the people they were caring for were recovering from a stroke. However what worried me, and them, was that they were not familiar with what to do in the event of an actual stroke.
Hence the topic for this month’s column.
Stroke, or in medical terms the “CVA” (short for “Cerebro-Vascular Accident,”) is generally believed to be more frequent during winter though studies from Japan show that the Japanese population have a more frequent incidence of stroke in the springtime.
Whatever the case, based on my personal experience in the medical field, it is my belief that a stroke can happen in any season. It is also something that can happen to, not only the elderly, but quite often to those in their mid 30s or 40s.
Therefore it is of the utmost importance that people know the cardinal symptoms of an acute stroke and seek professional help if there is the slightest suspicion of a stroke occurring.
Remember, that the earlier you arrive to a hospital and get proper treatment, the better the expected outcome.
Many people who have had a stroke in the past recollect the experience as a “sudden” event, with weakness, dizziness or numbness occurring on “one side of the body.” Any person suffering such symptoms should be immediately referred to a hospital.
Is it a stroke? Check these signs FAST!
F: Face - Does the face look uneven? Ask them to smile. A: Arm - Does the arm drift down? Ask them to raise both arms. S: Speech - Does their speech sound strange? Ask them to repeat a phrase. T: Time - Every second’s delay causes more brain cells to die. Call 119 (in Korea) at the first sign of a stroke.
To repeat, emergency aid can be obtained by calling the number 119, however you can also call 1339 - The Emergency Medical Information Center - for any assistance.
Further information can be obtained from www. 1339se.or.kr/eng/default.asp (SNU operated national hotline for emergency) or www.119.go.kr (Korean site)
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