What to do if someone is having a stroke

by Dennis Kim

First aid training is a great skill to have in any emergency situation. It can prevent the worst from happening in a horrific situation. So whether you have first aid training, first aid certificate or not, these next tips will give an idea of what to do in the situation.

Here are the First Steps to take after calling 911 if they are conscious:

  • Keep calm, the only way to think your way through this situation is remain calm yourself. This is similar to when you are on an airplane and in the safety presentation they tell you to secure your own oxygen mask before securing someone else’s in the case of an emergency. You are not going to be effective help for the person in need if you are panicking.

  • Clear the area to make sure it is safe and doesn’t present any other dangers that are immediate as you cannot help the patient if you are not safe yourself.

  • Keep communication up with the patient, ask them simple questions like what is there name, try and get them to squeeze your hand. If your no getting a response it is likely they are unconscious.

If they are unconscious:

  • Put them in the recovery position. Which is on their side, with their head and shoulders slightly elevated and placed on a pillow or a folded sweater don’t let them lay on their back.
  • Let them breath, clear airways, if they are wearing any obstructive clothing ties, scarves remove or loosen those too. If they begin to vomit and you have not put them in the recovery position yet roll them to the recovery position.
  • Do not feed them anything or give them any liquids as they could choke
  • Watch them carefully if anything changes you need to know as you have to give as much information as you can to the emergency response personnel. If you can remember how long the patient has been experiencing these symptoms this is also important information for the emergency personnel.
  • Keep them warm, place a jacket or blanket over them if they are cold.

Signs of a stroke:

FAST is the acronym we use to watch for stroke symptoms that they use in most first aid training or first aid training courses:

FACE: Do they have any facial drooping or weakness in their face. If it seems so ask them to smile or stick their tongue, this can be a quick way to test.

ARMS: Can they raise their arms above their heads.

SPEECH: Does their speech sound irregular and slurred.

TIME: If you see any of the above symptoms call 911!

Some other symptoms to watch for:

  • Patient looks confused
  • Patient passes out
  • Patient looks dizzy
  • Patient complains they are feeling nauseous
  • Patient is struck with a sudden headache
  • Patient appears drunk or is loosing balance
  • Patient is having trouble talking or swallowing
  • Patient is getting sudden visual blurring or loose of vision in one eye
  • The other big one to watch for is sudden paralysis of one side of the face or body.

These are just some things to do and watch for in an emergency situation where someone is appearing to suffer a stroke. It is important you take first aid training or a first aid course bc to ensure you are properly trained and equipped to react in this situation. As an article can only help so much, even a e learning first aid course would help ensure you have some training to handle these types of desperate situations.

To Sign up for first aid courses or first aid training click here.