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Page updated - 11 March 2007


During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall. Several people offered to call the paramedics but she assured everyone that she was fine and just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Ingrid's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital. At 6:00pm, Ingrid passed away. She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ and had we known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today.


A neurologist said that some stoke victims don't die but end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead but if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognised, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours. Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster and the stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognise the symptoms of a stroke.


Doctors say a bystander can recognise a stroke by following the STR test:


S - Ask the individual to SMILE.

T - Ask the person to TALK or SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE such as ‘It is sunny out today'.

- Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

Another 'sign' of a stroke is given by asking the person to 'stick' out their tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked' or if it goes to one side or the other, this is also an indication of a stroke.


If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 999 immediately and describe the Symptoms to the dispatcher. A cardiologist said if everyone who reads this information passes it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved.