New Indicator of a Stroke – The Tongue

With the recent episode through which Senator Ted Kennedy went, many people speculated that he perhaps had had a stroke. Further tests have confirmed that instead he is suffering from a brain tumor. However, it reinforces the fact that early detection of a stroke is critically important. Obviously those around Sen. Kennedy acted quickly for that very reason.

According to several neurologists, they say that if they can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours the effects of a stroke can be totally reversed … totally. The key is getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.

Some may know that there are three key indicators to detecting a stroke – in an easy to remember format – S T R

S – Ask the individual to SMILE
T – Ask the individual to TALK and say a simple sentence (coherently – e.g. It is sunny out today)
R – Ask the individual to RAISE both arms

If there is trouble with an ONE of these – immediately call 9-1-1 or 9-9-9 (depending on local protocol).

A new, fourth indicator has been isolated – Ask the individual to ‘stick’ out his or her tongue.  If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.  Although this does not easily fit into the STR method, remember S(mile), T(alk), R(aise), TONGUE.

The ability to immediately determine a POSSIBLE stroke can be beneficial to reversing the condition when presented to a neurologist within 3 hours.


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