Skip to main content

What to Do When You Notice Signs of a Stroke

What to Do When You Notice Signs of a Stroke

Strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is compromised either by a clot or a ruptured artery. According to the American Stroke Association, strokes are the fifth leading cause of death, and the longer the brain is deprived of oxygen, the more complications can arise. In other words, when it comes to stroke treatment, every second matters.

That’s why it’s essential to know what to do if you notice the signs of a stroke so you can take action quickly. 

3 things to do when you notice the signs of a stroke

First, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the signs of strokes. You might suspect that you or a loved one are having a stroke if you notice:

Once you spot the signs of a stroke, follow these steps:

1 Call 911

If you spot these symptoms, the first thing you should do is call 911, even if you’re not entirely sure your loved one is having a stroke. Because timely stroke treatment is linked to better outcomes, it’s better to err on the side of caution by calling for help. Follow all instructions from the 911 dispatcher. 

2 Be prepared to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

Not all stroke victims require CPR, but if your loved one is unconscious, the dispatcher may instruct you to perform CPR. 

3 Note the time of symptom onset

What time did the stroke symptoms first appear? Report the time that you first noticed symptoms in yourself or in your loved one to the 911 dispatcher and/or the paramedics. While this might seem like a trivial detail, it can play a big role in your stroke treatment plan. Certain medications 一 such as a clot-busting medication called tissue plasminogen activator 一 need to be given within a few hours of the first symptom, so this piece of information can help shape the treatment that your loved one receives at the hospital. 

What not to do when someone is having a stroke

Learning what not to do when someone has a stroke is just as important as learning what to do. Never attempt to drive yourself to the hospital if you think you’re having a stroke. You might be tempted to drive a loved one, but it’s still important to call for emergency medical services. Wait for the paramedics to arrive as they can assess the situation, perform CPR if needed, and administer necessary medications. 

Additionally, don’t administer any medications to someone having a stroke. This is because some medications, such as aspirin, could make strokes worse, especially if the stroke was caused by a burst or ruptured artery.

Preventing future strokes

Depending on what type of stroke you have, your treatment may include medications and/or surgeries. After your initial treatment at the emergency department, you may require additional treatment. For instance, board-certified cardiologist Dr. Henock Saint-Jaques may recommend a carotid endarterectomy to prevent future strokes. We can also perform angioplasty and stents.

To learn more or to assess your stroke risks, schedule an appointment at our Madison Avenue office. You can use our online scheduling tool or call 646-381-2181. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Am I at Risk of Having a Stroke?

Am I at Risk of Having a Stroke?

Strokes happen when blood flow to your brain is blocked. It can cause serious complications, but knowing your risk factor is the first in reducing your risk of having one. Here’s a look at some of the factors that influence your personal risk.
The Link Between Hormones and Palpitations

The Link Between Hormones and Palpitations

Your hormones are responsible for a host of bodily functions and processes, and that includes your heartbeat! Even the slightest shift in hormones can impact your heart. Read on to learn more about hormones and palpitations.
What Can I Learn From My EKG?

What Can I Learn From My EKG?

If you’re scheduled for an upcoming EKG, you might wonder what you can learn from it. Whether you need an EKG to diagnose a condition or assess your treatment, there’s lots to learn! Let’s take a look.
Is My Diet Contributing to My High Cholesterol?

Is My Diet Contributing to My High Cholesterol?

Lifestyle habits, such as leading a sedentary lifestyle or smoking, can increase your cholesterol, but so can your diet. Not sure if your diet is helping or hurting your cholesterol levels? Read on to learn more.
What Happens If I Don't Pass My Stress Test?

What Happens If I Don't Pass My Stress Test?

Stress tests provide valuable insights into how well your heart is functioning, but what happens if you don't pass your test? Read on as we explore common stress test results and what they mean.
Do Varicose Veins Run in Families?

Do Varicose Veins Run in Families?

Varicose veins are common yet unsightly lumpy veins. If your parents or siblings have them, you might wonder if you’re destined to have the same twisted veins on your legs. In this blog, we unpack the question: Do varicose veins run in families?