Response Guide for Stroke Emergencies
What is a stroke?
A stroke is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off. Almost 795,000 people suffer from a stroke every year in the United States alone! Stroke is also the fifth leading cause of death.
Why do you need an emergency response?
A stroke is a medical emergency which can happen at any time, at any place, without a warning. But did you know that if you act quick enough you can minimize the risks of brain damage and potential stroke complications?
Aiding someone who may be having a stroke is not easy and understandably puts you under immense pressure. But don’t worry because Abudo is here to help you with every step of the way.
Below is Dr’s ABCD guideline to help you understand the emergency response in case of a stroke attack:
D – Check for DANGER
- To you
- To others
- To the affected person
R – Check RESPONSE
Start off by checking for a response. If someone has had a stroke they may not be able to talk properly, so hold both their hands and ask them to squeeze – they may be able to respond by squeezing one of your hands.
Did the person respond? If yes, they are conscious.
If the person doesn’t respond then, they are unconscious.
To the affected person
S – Send for HELP
Phone emergency services immediately, or ask someone else to make the call.
A – Check AIRWAY
- Is the airway open?
- To ensure whether the airway is open, have a look in the mouth and check that the upper airway is visible and clear of any foreign material.
- If the airway is not clear then turn the person into a recovery position.
If the airway is not clear then turn the person into a recovery position.
- Kneel beside the person
- Put their arm that’s furthest from you out at right angles to their body
- Place their nearer arm across their chest
- Bend their nearer leg up at the knee and the other leg should be straight
- While supporting their head and neck, roll the person away from you
- When on their side, keep their top leg bent at the knee, with the knee touching the ground
Then tilt their head slightly backward and downwards to let anything that’s in the airway (such as vomit) drain out and clear the airway with your fingers.
B – Check for Breathing
- Tilt the head back by lifting the person’s chin
- Look to see if the person’s chest is rising and falling
- Can you hear the person breathing?
- Can you feel their breath on your cheek?
If the person is not breathing then proceed to the next step: cardiopulmonary resuscitation (Also known as CPR)
If the person is breathing then follow the steps below while waiting for help.
C – Give CPR
- Turn the person onto their back
- Kneel beside the person and give 30 chest compressions on the lower half of the breastbone using 2 hands with the fingers interlocked.
- Tilt the head backward, lift the chin and give 2 mouth-to-mouth breaths while pinching the nose shut.
- Keep alternating between 30 compressions and 2 breaths until the person shows sign of life or medical help arrives.
D – DEFIBRILLATION
If the person does not respond to CPR, apply defibrillator (if it is available) and follow the voice prompts.
If someone experiences the symptoms of stroke, it’s critical to get medical attention right away. The aforementioned guidelines may help minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death.
So why wait? Save your loved ones!