Stroke of Genius
Date Added: Mar. 21, 2004
While advice on what to do in a medical emergency abounds on the 'net, most of it is questionable - as it rightfully should be. The tips given in this chain letter are basically correct, but offered without context.
This might be a lifesaver if we can remember the three questions!
Is It a Stroke?
This was published in a monthly newsletter where a friend of mine lives and he sent it on. I had never heard this advice before and hadn't a clue.
Perhaps you hadn't either and would like to file it away in the back of your head.
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say any bystander can recognize a stroke asking three simple questions:
* ask the individual to smile.
* ask him or her to raise both arms.
* ask the person to speak a simple sentence.
If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. After discovering that a group of nonmedical volunteers could identify facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems, researchers urged the general public to learn the three questions. They presented their conclusions at the American Stroke Association's annual meeting last February. Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of the stroke and prevent brain damage."
PASS IT ON...............
We don't know for sure where the message above originated, but it gained popularity in March, 2004. It is an accurate summary of results from a study reported at the 28th International Stroke Conference in February 2003. According to the report's abstract:
"A bystander may be able to spot someone having a stroke by giving the person a simple, quick test to see if they can smile, raise both arms and keep them up, and speak a simple sentence coherently..."
The simple three- item examination described above is known in clinical circles as the Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale (CPSS) and has been successfully used by health care professionals in stroke screening for a few years. The focus of the research reported at the conference was to see if the CPSS could be used by the general public.
The study recruited stroke survivors who still had some symptoms. They then asked 100 non-patient visitors to the University of North Carolina Hospital emergency room to use the CPSS in telephone script form. The researchers concluded that bystanders correctly administered the CPSS 96 percent of the time.
That said, BreakTheChain.org recommends strongly against relying upon or forwarding health information via e-mail chain letters. The medium is unreliable and in many cases (such as the Cough CPR chain letter), with which the above chain was combined in late 2004, the advice can be more harmful than helpful. Extensive and reliable information about preventing, detecting and treating stroke can be found at the American Stroke Association's web site. Break this chain.
References: About.com, 29th International Stroke Conference