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This is how you should act when you suspect you are suffering from a stroke

Stroke is an ailment in which the survival of those affected by it, as well as their subsequent recovery, depends on prompt attention. Therefore, acting as quickly as possible is essential for health services to implement the so-called ‘stroke code’ and with it all the components and structures involved in the diagnosis and treatment during the acute phase of stroke.

But how should you act if you have the slightest suspicion that you may be suffering from a stroke?

Although the symptoms depend on the area of ​​the brain that is affected, the most significant are difficulty speaking suddenly or understanding; suddenly twisted mouth (facial paralysis); sudden loss of strength and sensitivity in one arm; tingling in the face, arm, leg, or one side of the body and sudden weakness; difficulty walking, loss of balance or coordination; very severe headache with no known cause, or complete or partial loss of vision in one eye.

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When faced with any of these symptoms, you should not minimize the danger, wait for them to pass, or drive to the hospital. You must call 061 immediately. Health professionals will assess the situation and activate, if necessary, the ‘stroke code’ (a system that allows rapid identification, notification and transfer of stroke patients to hospital). emergency services). In this way, the in-hospital process of definitive diagnosis and potential treatment can be launched while the stroke patient is transferred to the Emergency Department.

In Malaga, there are two specialized stroke units dedicated exclusively to caring for patients with this pathology. One of them is located in the Regional Hospital (former Carlos Haya, located on Avenida de Carlos Haya, 84) and the other in the University Clinical Hospital (Hospital Virgen de la Victoria, located on the Teatinos Campus, S/N) . However, as the specialists clarify, at first patients suspected of having a stroke can be treated at any hospital, since the first thing that is needed is to perform a CT scan to check if they are really experiencing a cerebrovascular accident and If so, whether it is an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke. The professionals will be the ones who, in the second instance, refer to one of the two hospitals with stroke units in Malaga if they consider that the situation requires it.

Smile, raise your arms and answer questions

People who are suffering from a stroke in many cases do not respond or are able to ask for help, therefore, in the event of the slightest suspicion, neurologists recommend that those close to them carry out a series of checks. Specifically, smile, raise your arms and answer a question.

This is what is known as the ‘Cincinnati scale’, one of the most used for the early assessment of a stroke. This scale assesses the presence or absence of facial paralysis, asymmetric arm weakness, and possible speech abnormalities.

By asking them to smile, you can detect if one side of the face does not move as well as the other (although sometimes with the naked eye you can already see that there is an asymmetry in the face or one eye is more open than the other). When raising your arms, if one of them does not move or falls relative to the other, it may indicate that something is not right. Slurred speech, incorrect words, or inability to speak are also warning signs.

If in any of these three cases the behavior is not normal, you should quickly call 061. While waiting for the ambulance, the Red Cross advises not to give the person anything to eat or drink and to monitor any changes that may occur. In the event that you lose consciousness, they point out that the first thing will be to make sure you are breathing; If so, you will be placed in the lateral safety position. If he is not breathing, CPR compressions should begin until the ambulance arrives.