How do you treat early stroke symptoms

Stroke: Warning Signs, Symptoms & First Aid

Stroke warning signs

In many cases, a stroke does not come out of the blue, but is announced by warning signs. This includes:

  • short-term paralysis, weakness or numbness of one side of the body
  • short-term language disorders (i.e. problems understanding language or language impairment)
  • Brief blindness in one eye (amaurosis fugax) or impaired vision (double vision, restricted field of vision)
  • Vertigo, unsteady gait, imbalance, sudden falls
  • Sudden, extremely severe headache
  • temporary loss of consciousness or disorientation in relation to space, time or people

Such harbingers occur in up to 30% of all stroke patients prior to a stroke. They usually start suddenly and can last a few minutes or hours, only to subside afterwards. Failure symptoms that do not last longer than 24 hours are referred to as transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Patients with such warning signs should be taken to hospital immediately, even if they have subsided. Speed ​​is the top priority here. The idea of ​​an insignificant, because quickly subsiding event (formerly also often played down as "Schlägle") is a thing of the past. Immediate medical treatment can possibly prevent a complete stroke or at least limit its consequences In the vicinity, the patient should preferably be treated by a doctor there.

First aid for a stroke

In the event of the slightest suspicion of a stroke, the emergency doctor should be alerted immediately via the emergency number 112 or the local emergency number. Every minute counts! The detour via the family doctor costs valuable time. It is important to express suspicion of a cerebral infarction during the phone call. Patients who arrive at the hospital within three hours and are treated there in special stroke facilities have considerably better chances of survival and rehabilitation.
Until the emergency doctor arrives, helpers should calm the person concerned. In order for the patient to breathe better, it is important to raise the upper body and open tight clothing such as a collar or tie. In the event of a cardiac arrest, i.e. if the patient is unconscious and no breathing can be recognized or a pulse can no longer be felt, chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation must be started immediately.

Stroke symptoms

The insufficient blood supply in the brain caused by a stroke leads in most cases to symptoms of paralysis, sensory disturbances or unsteady gait. The affected person can suddenly fall and then have paralysis on one side of the body. Depending on the severity of the stroke, slight paralysis of the face or arm up to complete paralysis of one half of the body (hemiplegia) can occur. In the face, the paralysis can be felt by the corner of the mouth hanging down on one side.

Other symptoms of a stroke can include speech disorders, visual disorders, swallowing disorders, dizziness, loss of sensation and, in severe cases, impaired consciousness. Sudden double vision or loss of vision to one side are also occasional signs of a stroke. Speech disorders become noticeable when patients can no longer name objects or people with the appropriate terms or names. In addition to the symptoms mentioned, severe headaches can occur, which can also be associated with nausea and vomiting. They are an indication that a cerebral haemorrhage is a possible cause of the stroke.

Which failure symptoms occur in the patient and how severe they are depends primarily on the affected brain region and the extent of the brain damage. If the symptoms last for at least 24 hours, it is a complete stroke. At least part of the brain tissue is then usually permanently damaged. If the failure symptoms regress within minutes or hours, there is a transitory ischemic attack (TIA). Whether it is a completed stroke or TIA, every event of this type is an emergency and the patient must be hospitalized as soon as possible. It is best to call the ambulance immediately and bring the patient to the hospital with a blue light. The sooner he is treated with the right therapies, the greater the chances that the symptoms will regress as completely as possible.