12 Days of Christmas: Strokes with Scrooge
Date: Monday, 10 December 2018. -
Ebenezer Scrooge may not be one to celebrate Christmas, but nevertheless, he has stopped focusing on his own business to inform you about strokes on day 6 of our first aid Christmas special.
Around 150,000 people sadly suffer a stroke per year in the UK, which is equivalent to a stroke every 5 minutes.
No-one is immune to a stroke; they can happen to anyone, anytime. However, it is typically people aged 65 and over who are affected by strokes.
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when the flow of blood to part of the brain is cut off, which is usually owing to a clot in a blood vessel or a rupture. The brain requires oxygen to function properly, so when blood supply is cut off, parts of the brain become damaged or die. The long-term effects of a stroke depend on which area of the brain is affected.
Symptoms of a stroke include dizziness and confusion, a sudden severe headache, sudden problems with vision (in one or both eyes) and a sudden lack of co-ordination or mobility.
If you suspect that you, or someone around you is suffering from a stroke, it is crucial that you act FAST.
F – Facial weakness, can the casualty smile? Has their eye or mouth dropped?
A – Arm weakness, can the casualty raise both arms?
S – Speech problems, can the casualty speak properly? Can they understand what you say?
T - Time, if you recognise these symptoms, then it is time to call 999/112 and get urgent medical attention.
Once you have called for an ambulance, then there are a few things you can do to help the victim. If conscious, allow the casualty to adopt a comfortable position with their head and shoulder raised. You should also frequently reassure and monitor them.
If they become unresponsive, it is essential that you place the victim in the Recovery Position, which will help to keep their airways clear and prevent further harm. Be prepared to perform CPR if the victim stops breathing.
Scrooge may be stingy with his money, but he is not stingy with his knowledge about strokes. We hope, like Scrooge on Christmas Eve, that this has given you an awakening on how you should respond to a stroke emergency.
If you ask Scrooge for more information about strokes, he may say ‘Bah Humbug,’ but you can ask us by tweeting us @ImpTraining.