General Information

How to Spot Someone Having a Stroke

Written By: First Aid Training Bangkok

Think Someone Might Be Having a Stroke?

Ask Them “Stick Out Your Tongue”. Really!

In 2015, worldwide over 15 million people suffered a stroke and 6 million people died of stroke. Yet with early detection and treatment (within 3 hours), stroke survival and full recovery is nearly 100%.

Early detection is the key! So learning an “easy to remember” way of checking for a possible stroke can quite possibly reduce the number of deaths caused by stroke.

Stroke or Cerebroventricular Accident (CVA)

First, let’s start with what a Stroke or Cerebroventricular Accident (CVA) is so we have better understanding of why, “Stick Out Your Tongue” helps identify a stroke victim.

Simply put, a Stroke is a sudden interruption in the blood flow to the brain by either a lack (blockage) of blood flow (ischemic attack).

It can aslo be due to bleeding/rupture of the cell (Hemorrhagic attack) affecting the function of that specific area of the brain affected, usually occurring only on one side of the brain thus affecting only one side of the body.

So how does “Stick Out Your Tongue” help evaluate if a person is experiencing a possible stroke? Well, the tongue is actually controlled by both sides of the brain through the hypoglossal nerve which controls the intrinsic musculature of the tongue determining movement of the tongue, lateral or side to side movement.

The Acronym: F.A.S.T. has been highly effective in the rapid assessment of a possible stroke victim.

Adding “Stick your tongue out” enhances F.A.S.T. >> and it is simple to do.

So, if you suspect a friend, family member, or coworker is experiencing a stroke, ask them “stick out your tongue”. What you’re looking for is that the tongue will appear crooked (curved toward one side of the mouth or the other), or appear a bit twisted, while the other side of the tongue will appear flat (normal) and smooth.

Yes, it’s that simple. So if you don’t remember F.A.S.T., just remember,”Stick Out Your Tongue”.

If you see these signs DON’T delay, contact Emergency Medical Service immediately!

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