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First Aid for Brain Stroke

Last updated March 5, 2018

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH


A diagram of what happens to the body to cause a stroke.


All episodes of Brain Stroke should be evaluated by a trained medical professional, as soon as possible! DO NOT wait! Failure to obtain evaluation as soon as possible may result in serious injury or death. Call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately, if you are experiencing a Brain Stroke.

What is Brain Stroke?

  • A Brain Stroke is an emergency medical condition when blood supply to the brain is reduced or blocked, resulting in oxygen deprivation to the brain tissue. When oxygen levels are severely depleted, brain cells begin to die and result in the symptoms of a stroke
  • It is a fairly common condition in middle-aged and older adults that can potentially lead to disability or death. In some cases, there may be early signs of an impending stroke that should be recognized and brought to immediate medical attention

What are the Causes of Brain Stroke?

A Brain Stroke occurs when the flow of blood to the brain is reduced or blocked. A lack of blood flow to the brain deprives the brain of oxygen. When brain cells do not receive oxygen, they begin to die, resulting in a loss of function in that area of the brain. 

The condition may be caused by the following factors:

  • High blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels
  • Uncontrolled diabetes 
  • Smoking, heavy alcohol consumption
  • Obesity
  • Any cardiovascular disease including heart failure, heart defects, abnormal heart rate, etc.
  • Family history of stroke

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Brain Stroke?

The signs and symptoms of Brain Stroke that should immediately draw ones’ attention to seek medical help include the following:

  • Individuals act drunk; loss of balance, falling down or sudden collapse
  • Mumbled speech, blurred vision
  • Paralysis of one side of the face and limbs; drooping of mouth to one side
  • Unable to raise both arms to the same level
  • Feeling weak and drowsy; severe headache

The above symptoms may have a sudden onset with no known or explainable cause.

How is First Aid administered for Brain Stroke?

First Aid tips for Brain Stroke:

  • Immediately on recognizing the signs of a Brain Stroke, call 911 (or your local emergency number)
  • If the individual has lost consciousness, ensure that the individual is placed on his/her side, suitably supported by pillows
  • Cover the individual with a warm blanket to keep them comfortable, asking/helping them to lean towards one side while resting (if the individual is conscious)
  • Loosen any tight-fitting clothing, belts
  • Check the mouth to ensure that there is no foreign material present in the mouth; ensure that there are no objects blocking the windpipe (including blood or the individual’s own tongue)
  • If the individual is salivating or drooling, wipe away the secretions
  • DO NOT offer any food to eat or liquids to drink
  • Stay near the affected individual and monitor for any other symptoms; try to reassure the individual
  • In case of breathing difficulties, administer CPR (if you are trained to do so)

DO NOT only turn the individual’s head, if he/she is vomiting; instead, move their head, neck, and entire body, to one side.

Who should administer First Aid for Brain Stroke?

Any individual near the affected person or a qualified healthcare personnel may administer First Aid for Brain Stroke. However, a medical professional is required for further treatment and management of the condition.

What is the Prognosis of Brain Stroke?

  • The prognosis of a Brain Stroke depends on the type of stroke that occurred, the extent of brain damage, and how quickly treatment was received
  • Most individuals who receive quick and adequate treatment are able to restore most of the body function and resume their activities, over the course of months or years 

How can Brain Stroke be Prevented?

A few helpful tips to prevent Brain Stroke:

  • Control the risk factors including high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and obesity
  • Regularly exercise, manage stress
  • Limit sodium intake and consume more potassium via well-balanced diet
  • Limit alcohol consumption and quit smoking
  • Be vigilant, if you have already been a victim of stroke

What are certain Crucial Steps to be followed?

  • Calling 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately
  • Recognize the symptoms of Brain Stroke as early as possible and seek prompt medical help

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Aug. 26, 2017
Last updated: March 5, 2018