About a stroke
A stroke is some form of damage to the brain as a result of haemorrhage or ischeamia. As a result of this, the patient may decrease their consciousness or their speech. Some signs and symptoms of a stroke include: dizziness, weakness (on either side or both sides of the body), difficulty in speaking, facial droop, or paralysis.
Haemorrhagic versus Ischeamic
A haemorrhagic stroke is where the blood vessel has been broken and blood has pooled in the brain. An ischeamic stroke is where a clot has formed in the cerebral vasculature, and stopped blood reaching the cerebral tissues, resulting in distal tissues ischaemia.
There are multiple techniques and methods for assessing a patient who appears to have had a stroke.
One method that is common these days is the FAST method in which we check:
Face – for symmetry, can they smile?
Arms and limbs – do they have equal movement and sensation to both arms and legs?
Speech – are they speaking normally?
Time – when did this happen? Has it changed at all?
What else could it be?
Consider other drug involvement