Day against the stroke: recognize the main symptoms
Every year more than a quarter of a million Germans suffer a stroke. This is one of the most common causes of death in Germany. In an emergency, it is important to recognize the symptoms and act quickly. Many strokes could be avoided by better prevention.
Over a quarter million strokes a year
Around 270,000 people suffer a stroke in Germany every year. In many cases, the lack of knowledge about the symptoms of the cerebral infarction and their importance prevents the necessary and timely medical care for those affected. For quick, vital help, it is important to recognize the symptoms. Health experts provide information on the nationwide “Day against the Stroke”. Deutsche stroke help writes on its website: "More than 130,000 strokes per year could be prevented in Germany, just by avoiding and controlling risk factors. The nationwide "Day against Stroke" on May 10, 2016 is therefore under the motto "Stop the stroke - emphatically against high pressure!"
Every second stroke could be prevented
Around one in two strokes in Germany could have been prevented if risk factors such as type 2 diabetes, atrial fibrillation, fat metabolism disorders and high blood pressure were prevented. “Hypertension is the most common risk factor for stroke. The German Hypertension League estimates that 20 to 30 million people suffer from it in Germany alone. They are all at least four times more likely to have a stroke. The main reason for this is arteriosclerosis (narrowing and hardening of the vessels), a consequence of the high pressure, ”reports the German stroke help.
Acting quickly can save lives
Prompt emergency treatment is particularly important for survival in the event of a cerebral infarction. It is therefore important to recognize important signs of a stroke and to act quickly. A cerebral infarction is always an emergency, in which the person concerned has to be given professional care as quickly as possible and taken to a hospital. It is therefore important that the emergency call is immediately made at 112. In the event of uncertainty, the so-called FAST rule can help identify a stroke and act correctly.
Ask patient to smile
The letters FAST stand for "Face, Arms, Speech, Time". In this test, which also belongs to the training of the rescue personnel, the person concerned is asked to smile. If this only works on one side, it indicates hemiplegia. The person is also asked to stretch their arms forward while turning their palms up and holding this position for ten seconds. In the case of paralysis, it is not possible to lift both arms, they quickly drop down or turn inwards. Another option is to let the person concerned repeat a simple sentence. If he is unable to do this, the voice sounds washed out or words and syllables are swallowed, then there is a speech disorder. The last point of the test relates to the time and means to immediately call for help on the emergency number 112 if one of the three short tests is suspicious. The FAST test can also be carried out with an app (for IOS and Android) that the German Stroke Help offers free of charge.
Stroke symptoms that are easy to spot include a sudden droop of the mouth, slurred speech, or inability to speak. If the affected person also complains of numbness in the arm, leg and facial area, dizziness, difficult swallowing, visual disturbances or a disturbed motor function of the hands or feet, the suspicion is obvious. Often, the symptoms are not associated with a stroke, especially if headache does not appear as a leading symptom. And even if it affects younger patients, a stroke is often not considered because it is more likely to be associated with the elderly.
Mini-stroke can go almost unnoticed
As the German Stroke Society (DSG) reports, the “mini stroke” is also an emergency. This can go almost unnoticed. "A temporary paralysis, speech or vision disorder, the so-called transient ischemic attack (TIA), is a possible harbinger of a major stroke," said the experts. TIA is a circulatory disorder in the brain. The symptoms are similar to those of a stroke, but usually resolve within an hour or two. Statistics show that one in ten people who notice such signs will have a stroke in the next few days. (ad)