A guide to identifying and treating strokes, both on and off grid

A stroke can happen anytime and anywhere. This includes locations far away from professional healthcare, modern medicine, and well-equipped treatment facilities. An article in Doom And Bloom covered how you can identify a stroke and treat victims of these attacks whether you are on the grid or off it.

Stroke victims experience confusion, dizziness, sharp headaches, and an abrupt spell of poor vision in one or both eyes. They cannot speak properly or find it difficult to understand what other people are saying to them.

A feeling of numbness or weaknesses will set into one side of their face, arm, or leg. Even with this partial paralysis, victims find it difficult to walk and cannot coordinate their movements.

The F.A.S.T. mnemonic developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is an easy way to test if a person has suffered a stroke.

  • F stands for Face. Ask the victim to smile. Inspect both sides of the face for sagging.
  • A is short for Arms. Lift up both arms of the victim and see if one of the limbs is dropping.
  • S refers to Speech. Ask the victim to say a simple sentence. Listen for slurring or other strange noises.
  • T is Time – as in it is time to call first responders. Except that when off-grid, you are the first responder.

In such a case, T/Time is a reminder to take note of the time the symptoms first appeared as well as the last time the victim appeared to be healthy. The more time in between those two, the higher the risk of far-reaching consequences. (Related: Add these 9 immune-boosting foods to your diet today to prevent a stroke.)

Know the deadly difference between ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes

Most strokes are ischemic in nature. Ischemic strokes are caused by a blood clot blocking up an important vessel that supplies blood to the brain.

When off-grid, without access to advanced medical equipment, give the victim salicin, also known as salicylic acid, which can be obtained from the underbark of a willow.

However, if the victim is known to have hypertension, avoid administering blood thinners. Elevated levels of blood pressure can cause a different type of stroke called a hemorrhagic stroke, where blood that gets into brain tissue essentially squeezes brain cells.

Hemorrhagic strokes can be made worse by blood thinners. Instead, give the victim garlic and ginger to help reduce hypertension.

Furthermore, lay the victim down on their left side. Blood pressure gets reduced to its lowest level in this position, which in turn minimizes the damage done to the brain.

Some hemorrhagic strokes might also be caused by aneurysms, a balloon-like flaw in the wall of a blood vessel. The pressure exerted by flowing blood can cause this flaw to burst open, allowing blood to leak into the brain and cause stroke.

While less common, hemorrhagic strokes caused by aneurysms will require surgical treatment by experts. In this case, the priority is to keep the victim comfortable while working on ways to get them to the nearest medical facility.

Finally, do not lower your guard if the victim suffered the symptoms of a stroke but makes an apparently quick recovery. This might be a case of a transient ischemic attack, which is essentially a miniature stroke.

People who have suffered a transient ischemic attack will be more prone to a major attack somewhere down the line. Keep this in mind while making sure the victim gets a lot of rest.

You can read more guides about off-grid medical treatment at OffGrid.news.

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