Stroke Association of Queesland
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What to do When Stroke Strikes

 

1. DOs

Anyone who has suffered a stroke has an increased risk of another stroke. Very few people have any idea what to do if a loved one or a workmate has a stroke. On all occasions stroke is a medical emergency.

  1. Place the patient on their side on the floor in the recovery position so saliva will drain out of their mouth and loosen neckties or clothing that may restrict breathing. Simultaneously call for anyone in earshot to ring an ambulance and state it’s a stroke emergency. If they are convulsing protect them from colliding with hard or sharp objects.

  2. Clear their airway so they can breathe and make sure their tongue has not blocked their airway. Do not place anything in their mouth. Do not give any fluids as they may choke to death.

  3. If you are on your own, now ring for the ambulance stating it’s a stroke emergency. Keep calm and give the ambulance calltaker exact answers to their questions. They will ask a number of questions that will enable them to locate you quickly. Do not hang up until they have taken all your details, otherwise confusion will cost precious minutes.

  4. Sit with the patient and comfort them until the ambulance arrives. Above all do not panic, as this will heighten the patients anxiety and raise blood pressure.

  5. Upon arrival the paramedics will ask a number of questions relating to the patient’s medical history including allergies. Don’t leave out bits you think are insignificant as they may be of critical importance.

  6. The paramedics will ask the patient a number of routine questions to ascertain their mental state. Questions such as, what is your name, where are you, where do you live, what is the date, who is the prime minister, may sound mundane to you but they tell the paramedics a lot about the patients state so don’t help out with the answers. They will also ascertain if the patient is seeing double.

  7. The paramedics will immediately place the patient on oxygen as part of the brain is starving for it.

  8. The driver will radio ahead to determine which hospital can immediately accept the patient and alert the team in ‘Emergency’ to expect the patients arrival as prompt action will minimize the extent of brain damage.

  9. If you can’t travel with the patient be sure to ask what hospital they are being taken to.
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