Cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) also known as stroke represent one of the main causes of mortality worldwide. In USA, 800,000 people are affected each year by this phenomenon, including 150,000 who die. If you ever see someone having a stroke, help the person using only a needle!
A stroke, also called brain attack, occurs due to sudden stop of blood flow to the brain, caused by blockage or burst of a blood vessel. As a result, the brain cells in the affected area are deprived of oxygen and nutrients necessary for their operation and eventually die.
Types of stroke
- Ischemic stroke is caused by obstruction of a cerebral artery due to the formation of a blood clot. When the lipid plaque buildups on the artery walls, they being to narrow and blood clots form. This is the form of the most common stroke.
- Hemorrhagic stroke is mainly caused by hypertension. It is characterized by intracerebral bleeding due to rupture or burst of a blood vessel in the brain.
What are the risk factors for stroke?
The main cause is high blood pressure, but there are other factors to consider, including: genetic predisposition, stress, obesity, oral contraceptives, cholesterol and excessive use of drugs and alcohol.
The age (50 and above) and smoking are also factors that increase the risk of stroke. Note that 40% of stroke deaths are related to tobacco use in subjects of 65 years of age.
How to tell if a person is having a stroke?
The symptoms are many and distinct enough. A person who has a stroke feels a weakness in a certain body part or an entire half. Dizziness, loss of balance, impaired vision and speech as well as severe headaches and facial numbness are also common signs.
How to help a person who has a stroke?
Obviously, the first reaction is to call for help, but until it arrives, there are some actions you could take to try to save the person.
Above all, it is very important to keep calm. If you get stressed or panic, you certainly will not help the victim. Here’s what to do:
- Do not move the victim from his place, to prevent internal bleeding.
- Take a syringe or if you do not have one at home, use a needle that you need to sterilize. Just put it on the fire for a few seconds.
- Once the needle is sterilized, you must prick the end of the 10 fingers of the victim. Pricks must be in the part closest to the nails.
- Normally, blood should flow, but if it does not, try pressing the fingertips without forcing too much. The goal is to shed blood to improve blood circulation and the victim regains consciousness.
- If the victim manifests distortion of the mouth, you need to carefully massage his ear. You can also gently prick the ear lobe twice until one or two drops of blood begin to flow. This will again improve the blood flow and the mouth of the victim should return to normal after a few minutes.
Follow these steps to the letter to save the life of a person who has had a stroke while waiting for rescue. Please note, even if the person is fully conscious or feels better, it is important that he or she must be taken to the hospital to be examined by a doctor.
How to prevent a stroke?
Since the high blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke, it is important to check it regularly.
It is also recommended to avoid consumption of alcohol and tobacco and to practice regular physical activity. This will improve your heart health but also prevent diseases related to it and reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
In addition, it is very important to have a healthy and balanced diet. Avoid processed foods, which contain a lot of bad fat, sugar and sodium. Rather prefer everything that is natural and consume lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and good fats, which will give your body the nutrients it needs.
According to a study from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx (United States), a potassium-rich diet can reduce the risk of stroke in women after menopause. The scientists analyzed potassium intake in over 90,000 postmenopausal women aged between 50 and 79, for 11 years. They concluded: women who consumed a lot of potassium reduced their risk of stroke by 12%, in contrast to women who had lower intakes of this mineral.