How to determine if a person has had a stroke

How to determine if a person has had a stroke

To determine if a person has had a stroke,
remember these four letters:


That’s the term medical workers use to communicate “without delay,” as when they say, “I need a doctor stat!”  When a person has had a stroke, he/she needs a doctor STAT!

Read on to see what these letters will remind you to do if there is the slightest hint that a person near you shows any signs of “not being himself,” i.e, confused, dizzy, vacant stare, eye and/or one side of face drooping, slurred speech, severe headache, etc.


During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall.  She assured everyone that she was fine and refused their offer to call paramedics.  She said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.

They got her cleaned up and gave her a fresh plate of food. While she was a bit shaken up, Jane appeared to enjoy herself the rest of the afternoon.

Later that day, Jane’s husband called later to let everybody know that his wife had been taken to the hospital.  At 6:00 pm, Jane was declared dead. She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had bystanders known how to identify the signs of a stroke, it’s possible that Jane still would be with her family today. Of course, some stroke victims don’t die right away.  Instead, they end up in a helpless, hopeless, and expensive condition for the rest of their lives.

It takes only a couple of minutes to read these directions for saving a life:

A neurologist says that if he can provide treatment to a stroke victim within three hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke. He said the trick is getting stroke symptoms recognized and then properly treated within three hours.  As soon as the stroke occurs, the clock begins ticking as bystanders express concern; the victim denies needing help; a savvy person present gives the victim the STAT test; 911 is called; the information is given to the operator and processed; an EMT vehicle is sent and travels the distance to the victim’s location; paramedics assess and prep the victim, then transport him/her to the nearest stroke care clinic, if one is available; the patient is offloaded and the crucial treatment begins – hopefully with at least an hour to spare.


Here’s where you can cut that delay in getting treatment down to a minimum.  Immediately implement the four steps to take that are easy to remember when you think STAT!

Read and Learn!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and take the required action.

Now doctors say a nonprofessional bystander can recognize a stroke by giving the suspected stroke victim these four simple tasks to perform:

S *Ask the individual to SMILE.

T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A
SIMPLE SENTENCE coherently, such as, “Today is a beautiful day.”  Look for slurred speech.

A *Ask the distressed person to RAISE BOTH ARMS.  Look for one arm to droop lower than the other.

T  * Tell him to stick out his TONGUE.  Look for the tongue to be contorted or off-center to one side or the other.

If the person has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call the emergency number (911) STAT (which means without delay!) and, after quickly describing the symptoms to the dispatcher, ask for immediate stroke victim care.

The T for the Stick out Your Tongue sign listed here is a new one now being used to identify a stroke and is not found on most websites.

If everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people and the chain continues, it is likely that many lives will be saved.  One of them could be your own – or that of a loved one.

While it is unlikely that you would get a false positive with this test, it is possible that you could get a false negative, especially right after a stroke takes place.  If you have any doubt whatever about a person’s medical condition, you should always err on the side of caution and seek professional help STAT! 

If you liked this article, you’ll love my new book:

Stress is a Choice; So is Joy
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