Use of methamphetamines (such as ice) may cause a stroke to occur.
A stroke is always a medical emergency. The longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater the chance of stroke-related brain damage.
The Stroke Foundation recommends the F.A.S.T. test as an easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke.
Using the F.A.S.T. test involves asking these simple questions:
- Face. Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
- Arms. Can they lift both arms?
- Speech. Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
- Time Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.
Other signs include:
- Weakness or numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg on either or both sides of the body
- Difficulty speaking or understanding
- Dizziness, loss of balance or an unexplained fall
- Loss of vision, sudden blurring or decreased vision in one or both eyes
- Headache, usually severe and abrupt onset or unexplained change in the pattern of headaches
- Difficulty swallowing
While you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive:
- If the person is conscious, lay them down on their side with their head slightly raised and supported.
- Do not give them anything to eat or drink.
- Loosen any restrictive clothing that could cause breathing difficulties.
- If weakness is obvious in any limb, support it and avoid pulling on it when moving the person.
- If they are unconscious, check their breathing and pulse and put them on their side. If they do not have a pulse or are not breathing, start CPR straight away.
Click here for a step-by-step guide to performing CPR.
For more information about responding to stroke, visit the Stroke Foundation website.