While this acronym may seem like common knowledge, it is important, and worth repeating. When treating a stroke, timing is everything! Treatment is most effective within the first 3 hours. During this window, cognitive deficits can be minimized, and all other treatments, rehabilitation, and therapy will follow. Strokes vary widely and are unique on a case-by-case basis. Factors that make strokes either mild or severe include, the location of the blood vessel, area and extent of brain injury, the type of stroke (which is our next point), and TIME!
If you begin to notice trouble with coordination, any vision problems, a facial droop, one arm going numb, or sudden slurred speech, it is time to call 911 or get to the nearest emergency department. Any of these signs are potential warnings that a stroke event is coming on. It is best to let a medical professional diagnose and treat a stroke. It is a common misconception that taking aspirin can be helpful. However, some strokes cause bleeding instead of forming a clot. So, the action of taking aspirin at home can be catastrophic, exacerbate the bleed, and may even result in death.
Myth buster: there are NO effective home remedies for a stroke. Get to a hospital and let a physician make the diagnosis.
Understanding Different kinds of Strokes: Ischemic vs Hemorrhagic
Ischemic strokes are most common and caused by a clot. These can often be treated with IV medication if caught early on. Remember, NEVER give someone exhibiting stroke symptoms a blood thinner, such as aspirin, at home. This is a good tactic for chest pains, which suggest a heart attack; but this could be fatal for a stroke patient. The second, less common type of stroke is due to a burst artery. Bleeding in the brain is usually treated by close monitoring of medications, or surgery. Both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes present with the same symptoms. In either case, it is important to call an ambulance or get to the nearest hospital for a head scan fast!