FOX's 9-1-1 is a procedural drama series that follows the lives of police officers, firefighters, paramedics, dispatchers and other first responders in Los Angeles. Given that the show covers medical and other emergencies, there are several edutaining moments in each episode. For Stroke Awareness Month, we're highlighting this clip.
When first responders arrive on the scene of a domestic dispute, they separate the husband and wife and assess the situation and injuries. They think this is a routine incident, until the husband brings something to their attention: His wife is not British.
Why is this important? Because, his wife had been speaking with a British accent for about a day. In other words, she's hadn't been acting like herself for almost 24 hours. In addition, she had a migraine and hiccups that wouldn't go away. While these things seem like they may be unrelated, they are not. These symptoms point to one thing, a stroke.
How common is stroke? Every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke. This year, around 800,000 people in the U.S. will have a stroke. Being able to recognize stroke symptoms is important because it helps people get medical attention more quickly. The best treatment options for stroke are only available within 3 hours of the first symptoms. So, the earlier people receive medical attention for a stroke, the better their outcomes. Unfortunately, more than half of stroke-related 9-1-1 calls are made over an hour after the onset of symptoms and more than half of 9-1-1 callers do not correctly identify stroke symptoms.
Additionally, there is the misconception that only older adults have strokes. While the risk for stroke does increase with age, young adults and adolescents account for about 15% of ischemic strokes (the most common type of stroke).
The most common symptoms of stroke include face drooping, arm weakness, and slurred or difficult speech. You can use the acronym F.A.S.T. to remember them:
Additional stroke symptoms include the sudden onset of confusion, vision trouble, trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, lack of coordination, or a severe headache of unknown origin.
Sometimes, women also experience the following:
Knowing the symptoms of stroke can help save lives. Share this article with your friends and family.
By: Monique Thornton, MPH
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