How to Apply First Aid for Stroke: A Complete Guide

first aid for a stroke

A stroke is an urgent medical matter. Every second counts for a person experiencing it. And in those crucial times, your actions may be able to save someone’s life.

Part of the brain is deprived of the oxygen and blood supply it needs to operate during a stroke because a blood vessel to that part of the brain either has a clot or obstruction or bursts.

The more cells in the brain die after a stroke, the longer it goes untreated. However, some treatments can be offered if a patient gets to the emergency room in time.

I compiled a critical list of dos and don’ts, so you can be prepared to offer your family members the best chance of surviving strokes.

Stroke First Aid

Is it a stroke infographic

Take the following actions if you believe you or your loved one nearby may be having a stroke:

1) Identify the Symptoms, Then Dial 999

Recognizing the symptoms of a stroke is the first step. FAST can be used to help you recall these things:

  • F = Facial drooping: Has the person’s face changed? Is one side of the mouth sagging? Is their smile even-handed or crooked?
  • A = Arms frailty: Can they raise both arms? Do the arms hang, or are they able to support them?
  • S = Speech difficulties: Can the person repeat a simple sentence? Do they have slurred speech?
  • T = Time to call emergency services: Dial 911 if any of the questions above are true.

2) After Contacting 999

Keep your cool. Verify that the place is secure and that your loved one is not at any immediate risk, such as moving automobiles. If the person is awake:

  • Put them in a comfortable position while being gentle. Try not to move them.
  • Any restrictive apparel, such as scarves or collars on shirts, should be relaxed.
  • Use a blanket or coat to keep them warm if they are chilly.
  • Verify that their airway is unobstructed.
  • Ensure the individual. Inform them that assistance is on the way.
  • Give them neither food nor drink.
  • Observe the patient’s symptoms and any changes in their health conditions. Giving the emergency services as much information as possible about the circumstance is crucial.
  • Try to recall when the symptoms started. If you can, look at a clock because it might be challenging to gauge the passing of time in a stressful scenario.

In the event of unconsciousness:

  • Pose them for recovery after moving them.
  • Keep an eye on their breathing and airway.
  • The person should elevate their chin and lean back slightly.
  • Observe their chest to see if it is beating.
  • Pay attention to your breathing.
  • Try to feel their breath by placing a cheek over their mouth.
  • Start CPR if there are no signs of breathing. Currently, CPR is only performed by those who have received official training. If you are unsure, call the hospital.

3) The Recovery Position

Put someone in recovery if they are unconscious or their airway is not entirely clear. How to do it:

  • Kneel next to them.
  • Put your arm at a right angle to their body with the arm the furthest away from you.
  • Cross their chest with the other arm.
  • Straighten the leg that is furthest from you. One of their knees is bent.
  • Roll the person onto their side with their bottom leg straight, and top leg bent at the knee, with that knee contacting the ground while supporting their head and neck.
  • To allow any vomit in the airway to drain, tilt their head gently forward and downward.
  • If required, manually close the person’s mouth.

4) Conducting Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

When a person’s breathing and heartbeat have ceased, CPR can be used to save their life. There are two steps to it:

  • Contact the ambulance
  • Pushing quickly and forcefully in the middle of the chest

People with training and a mouth guard can provide rescue breaths and chest compressions at a pace of two breaths for every thirty compressions.

They should only perform compressions if they don’t have mouth protection.

If an automatic external defibrillator (AED) is accessible, it can be used to assess the heartbeat and, if necessary, shock the patient’s chest with electricity.

NOTE: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), emergency personnel can begin providing that person with life-saving care while they are travelling to the emergency room.

What Are the Causes of a Stroke?

The two primary forms of strokes and their causes are as follows:

  • Ischemia Stroke: The most common type is ischemic stroke. The arteries that supply blood are blocked or narrowed, which is the root cause of it. Blood clots or fatty deposits may be the culprits behind the obstructions.
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke: These occur when blood leaks or arteries burst. The cells are harmed by this blood, which lowers the brain’s blood flow.

NOTE: High blood pressure, a prior stroke, smoking, diabetes, and having heart disease are all risk factors for stroke—your risk of stroke increases as you age.

What Are the Warning Signs of a Stroke?

Patients can experience different stroke symptoms from one another. Stroke symptoms appear exceptionally suddenly.

People can be fine one second and then get symptoms like weakness, numbness, difficulty speaking, or vision loss. When the flow to the brain is reduced, a stroke happens.

It can happen when the flow is obstructed (ischemic stroke) or when a blood artery in the brain bursts, causing leakage and bleeding (hemorrhagic stroke).

The cells in the brain die without a regular flow, and the functions regulated by that portion of the brain, such as speech, muscle movement, or vision, are lost or compromised.

First Aid for Stroke Symptoms

A specialist appointment should be recommended for you within 24 hours after the onset of your symptoms. If necessary, treatment can also start.

If you experience stroke symptoms that go away rapidly and in less than 24 hours, you may have experienced a mini-stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA).

To lessen the possibility of experiencing another full stroke, these symptoms should also be handled as a medical emergency.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke?

The degree of the symptoms will depend on how severe the stroke was. You need to know what to look out for before you can assist.

Use the FAST acronym. FAST is an acronym used as a mnemonic to help detect and enhance responsiveness to the needs of a person having a stroke.

The acronym stands for Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech slurred, and Time to call the hospital. Other key signs of a stroke include:

  • Loss of vision, especially in one eye, or vision that is dull or blurry
  • Numbness down on one side of the body, loss of muscle tone of the face
  • Nausea
  • A lack of bowel or bladder control
  • Severe headache
  • Feeling unsteady or lightheaded
  • Loss of consciousness or balance

Avoid waiting it out if you develop stroke symptoms. Take symptoms carefully, even if they are minor or disappear quickly. Brain cells begin to die in just a few minutes.

What Is the Treatment for Stroke Symptoms?

To confirm the diagnosis and determine the reason, medical professionals will evaluate the stroke survivor at the hospital and may run tests like an MRI or CT scan.

Options for health treatment include:

  • Medication
  • Physical exercise
  • Treatment for speech
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Surgery

The doctor may prescribe medication for blood clots to be treated and lessen the possibility of long-term damage.

Stroke Treatment

Effective stroke remedies can both save lives and prevent long-term damage. The particular therapies suggested relying on whether strokes were brought on by:

  • A blood clot obstructing blood supply to the brain (ischaemic stroke)
  • Bleeding close to or inside the brain (hemorrhagic stroke)

Although some patients may also require surgery, the typical course of treatment entails taking one or more different medications.

When Should You Call for Medical Emergency?

If someone is having a stroke, time is of the essence. The longer strokes are left untreated, the more damage to the brain may result, possibly permanently.

Call the hospital immediately if you think you’re having a major stroke or if someone you’re with is.

If a Stroke Happens, Is Aspirin Emergency Help?

The majority of people will be given a standard dose of aspirin. Aspirin is a pain reliever and an antiplatelet, which lowers the possibility of another clot forming.

Other antiplatelet medications, like clopidogrel and dipyridamole, may be utilized.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Learn more about stroke first aid by reading the commonly asked questions mentioned below.

How Do You Position a Stroke Victim?

For acute stroke patients, keeping the head raised is preferred; nevertheless, some studies suggest resting flat may hasten recovery.

How Do I Know if I’ve Had a Stroke?

Sudden paralysis or frailty, especially on one side of the body, in the arm, leg, or face. Unexpected difficulty speaking, understanding, or perplexity.

Sudden vision problems in either one or both eyes. Sudden difficulty walking, lightheadedness, losing balance, or poor coordination.

What Organ’s Blood Supply Is Impacted by a Stroke?

A form of cardiovascular disease is stroke. It has an impact on the arteries in and around the brain.

A stroke happens when a blood vessel that supplies the brain with oxygen and nutrients becomes blocked by a clot or breaks.

How Do Brain Cells React to a Stroke?

All of the areas of your brain receive oxygen-rich blood from your arteries.

The National Stroke Association says they begin to die within minutes of a blockage in blood flow because they cannot receive oxygen.

What Period Following a Stroke Is Critical?

There is a crucial window of opportunity for rehabilitation after a stroke. The timeframe for this investigation was two to three months after the stroke started.


The future of a stroke survivor is challenging to predict because it depends on various factors.

Rapid action is essential. Don’t hesitate to seek emergency assistance at the first indication of a stroke because how quickly the stroke was treated is crucial.

Blood clots, diabetes, and other risk factors like heart disease can make recovering from a stroke more difficult and time-consuming.

The rehabilitation procedure must participate in regaining mobility, motor abilities, and regular speech.

As with any severe health condition, recovery will be significantly aided by having a good outlook and a strong support network.

Undertake a first aid course with Skills Training Group to further enhance your knowledge of first aid.

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