As you may know, there’s an email that periodically floats around the Internet regarding what is supposedly an easy test for whether someone is having a stroke. And I often have concerned patients come into my office and ask, “Dr. Sinatra, is there any truth to it?”
Well, I checked it out, and I’m happy to report the information there is correct. Hopefully you never need to apply it, but in case you do, the simplicity of it can perhaps make a difference in saving someone’s life or minimizing their symptoms.
Note the key words in each of these first three steps. Smile. Talk. Raise. The words start with the first three letters of the word stroke: s, t, r.
- Step No. 1: Ask the individual to smile.
- Step No. 2: Ask the person to talk. Try a simple sentence, like “it’s rainy (or cloudy or sunny) outside.” Look for coherence in how the person speaks.
- Step No. 3: Ask the person to raise both arms.
- Step No. 4: Ask the person to stick out his or her tongue. A “crooked” tongue that curves outward to one side or the other is another easy-to-recognize indication of a stroke.
If the person has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, then seek immediate medical attention.
Again, my hope is that you’ll never need to apply this. I hope you’re adhering to good cardiovascular nutrition, exercising daily, and trying to maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Doing this will go a long way toward helping you to avoid a stroke, as well as other cardiovascular problems.
For more information on strokes or other cardiovascular problems, visit www.drsinatra.com.