The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Randy Charles
The Times 

Home Emergency Care Topic of the Month

Suspected Stroke


January 31, 2019

From the Editor:

A new resident to Waitsburg Randy Charles, and his wife Antoinette, joined the community in August of 2018 after purchasing the Fifth Street home formerly belonging to Larry and Deanne Johnson. The Charles’ moved from Key West, Fla. where Randy was a firefighter and paramedic for the City of Key West. Though moving from Florida, Randy is a native of Washington State, having grown up in Clarkston and Yakima. He is a proud Alumnus of Washington State University.

From Randy:

When a medical emergency occurs the city of Waitsburg and its surrounding homes and farms face challenges, as do all rural areas, in EMS response times and transport times to an emergency room. This monthly column is aimed at providing area residents, who are faced with a medical or traumatic event, some knowledge and skills that can be utilized to help a stricken individual while waiting for EMS.


A stroke is sometimes referred to as a “Brain Attack” because the cause is similar to what causes a “Heart Attack”. Both are due to restricted blood flow. A stroke is caused by restricted blood flow to an area of the brain, a heart attack is the result of restricted blood flow to an area of the heart muscle. In the case of a stroke the restricted blood flow can be caused by a blockage (clot), or because of bleeding, in a vessel that supplies blood to the brain. The lack of blood flow can result in brain cells dying and permanent disability or death if the individual is not taken to an ER immediately for testing and treatment.


*Though strokes are more common in those of us that are 55 years or older, anyone of ANY age can have a stroke.

*It has been estimated that every 45 seconds someone in America has a stroke.

*Strokes are one of the leading causes of disability and death in America


*Sudden and severe headache. Along with the headache the person may also experience dizziness, vomiting and a change in their level of consciousness.

*Sudden trouble speaking (slurred speech).

*Sudden confusion

*Sudden blurred or blackened vision in one or both of their eyes

*Sudden weakness and or numbness in one arm, leg or drooping/numbness on one side of their face.

*Sudden trouble with walking.


*Remember that time is CRITICAL for stroke care.

*CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY, if there will be an extensive delay in help arriving you may want to consider driving the individual to the hospital. DON’T drive yourself if you are the one having the stroke.

*Try to determine the last time the person was “normal”, this is critical for the Doctor to know.

*Watch the person carefully while waiting for emergency assistance


*Don’t delay to see if the symptoms go away, even if the symptoms do go away the individual needs to be evaluated by a Doctor.

*Don’t administer Aspirin; if the stroke is caused by bleeding Aspirin can make the situation worse.


For further information related to Strokes,


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