This isn't usually a medical blog, although I do have an interest in medical matters arising largely from one of the few worthwhile science courses I ever studied - second-year physiology, which involved doing hideous things to pithed toads and anaethetised rats that weren't going to emerge from their sleep. This made it hard to forget the lesson, even if understanding what is happening when you are in pain is not always a positive thing.
But I got this in an email today and since it doesn't seem to have got lots of publicity, certainly in the UK, I thought it worth promulgating.
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
*Ask the individual to SMILE.
*Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
*Ask the person to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE
(Coherently) (ie. It is sunny out today)
If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call an ambulance immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
There's more detail here.