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Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
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Ignore Recent Internet E-Mails about Stroke Treatment


An e-mail has been circulating in the past few months saying that if you suspect someone is having a stroke, you should "Help the victim to sit up …then sterilize a needle and use it to prick the tip of the person's finger."


The first thing you should do if you think someone's having a stroke is call 9-1-1.

Don't force the person to sit up. It can cause a drop in blood pressure. Don't prick the finger. It doesn't help, and it only delays proper medical treatment.

Know the signs of a stroke:

  • Sudden numbness in the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

    National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
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