BOROUGH councillor Peter Shephard wants people to learn how to recognise if someone has had a stroke.
He says information contained in medical leaflets, available at GP surgeries and hospitals among other places, could even help you save a person’s life one day.
Cllr Shephard (Lab, Rivacre) explained: “The message is so important, to make it easier for anyone to recognise the signs of a stroke.
“These simple procedures can save valuable minutes in receiving the appropriate treatment and can help people to avoid the disabling after effects of a stoke.”
Neurologists say that, if they can get to a stroke victim within three hours, they can reverse the effects.
But this relies on other people recognising a victim has had a stroke, getting them diagnosed, and then getting them medically cared for within the time limit.
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster.
The victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognise the symptoms of a stroke.
Now doctors say a bystander should use the first three letters of the word stroke to remember three simple questions:
Ask the individual to SMILE
Ask the person to TALK and speak a simple sentence coherently, ie “It is sunny out today.”
Ask him or her to RAISE both arms.
If the victim has trouble with any of these tasks, call 999 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
The leaflet adds there is a fourth way to identify if someone has had a stroke.
Ask them to stick out their tongue. If the tongue is crooked, going to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.