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A Simple Test to
Determine Whether a Person is Having a Stroke-Truth!
Summary of the eRumor
The eRumor says that the
American Stroke Associations suggests a simple three question test
to give to someone who may be experiencing the symptoms of a stroke.
According to the website of the
American Stroke Association (ASA) this eRumor is true. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart
In an article published in February of 2003, the ASA says that a
60-second test can help determine whether someone may be
experiencing a stroke. The three question test has been used by
health care professionals as an initial way of determining whether
someone may be experiencing a stroke. But a research project by North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of
Medicine in Chapel Hill, N.C. looked into the question of whether
non-medical professionals could administer the short test and
correctly identify the symptoms of a possible stroke. The conclusions was yes, that bystanders could be helpful in
determining whether a person is experiencing a stroke. One of the reasons they looked into it was to see whether bystanders
could be helpful to a 9-1-1 dispatcher in helping narrow down what
is happening to a potential patient.
The three questions given to the suspected stroke sufferers were:
Can you raise your arms and keep them up? Can you smile? Can you repeat a simple sentence?
The study found that when non-medical volunteers were asked by a
telephone dispatcher to administer the test, they correctly
identified the symptoms 96 percent of the time...especially the
raising of the arms and the speaking of a simple sentence. They were less effective in evaluating whether there was facial
weakness in a smile, probably because of not knowing what the
person's normal smile looked like. Doctors caution that this does not mean that citizens should
try to diagnose stroke symptoms themselves. This study focused on citizens who were being given instruction over
the telephone by emergency dispatchers.
Any sign of weakness in the face, slurred speech, or weakness or
numbness in the limbs should be evaluated by medical professionals
If stroke victims are given proper help within 3 hours of the
stroke, the ability to recover is greatly increased.
HERE for more information posted on the the American Stroke Association
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
Subject: stroke test
This might be a lifesaver if we can remember the three questions!
Is It a Stroke?
This was published in a monthly newsletter where a friend of mine
he sent it on. I had never heard this advice before and hadn't a
Perhaps you hadn't either and would like to file it away in the
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify.
the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may
damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a
doctors say any bystander can recognize a stroke asking three
* ask the individual to smile.
* ask him or her to raise both arms.
* ask the person to speak a simple sentence.
If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 9-1-1
and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. After discovering
group of nonmedical volunteers could identify facial weakness, arm
weakness and speech problems, researchers urged the general public
learn the three questions. They presented their conclusions at the
Stroke Association's annual meeting last February. Widespread use
could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of the stroke and
PASS IT ON...............
2 For 1
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