ST JOHN AMBULANCE: How to recognise and deal with a stroke

Long-term effects of a stroke depend on what part of the brain and how much tissue is affected

Long-term effects of a stroke depend on what part of the brain and how much tissue is affected

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St John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid charity, has teamed up with the Littlehampton Gazette to bring you some simple, but life saving, first aid tips. This week: recognising and dealing with a stroke.

A stroke is caused by a portion of the brain being starved of oxygen.

This can be due to a burst blood vessel or a clot blocking a blood vessel.

The lack of oxygen causes damage to the brain.

The long-term effects of a stroke depend on what part of the brain and how much tissue is affected.

To recognise if someone has suffered a stroke, use the FAST (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) test:

• Ask them to smile.

• If they have had a stroke, they may only be able to smile on one side, the other side of the mouth may droop.

• Ask them to raise both arms.

• If they have had a stroke, they may only be able to lift one arm.

• Ask them to speak.

• If they have had a stroke, they may struggle to respond appropriately.

• Call 999/112 for emergency help and tell the operator you have used the FAST test and suspect a stroke.

• Keep the casualty comfortable and supported. If the casualty is conscious, you can help him to lie down. Reassure him that help is on its way.

• Monitor and record vital signs – level of response, breathing and pulse while waiting for help to arrive.

• Do not give the casualty anything to eat or drink as it may be difficult for him to swallow.

• For those looking for quick, easily accessible first aid information, the St John Ambulance app is available free on smartphones and the website {http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/default.aspx |(www.sja.org.uk)|www.sja.org.uk} offers demo videos, an interactive game, and lots of free advice. For more information about first aid courses please call 0303 003 0101.

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