Showtime’s Nurse Jackie aired an episode in which a man suffered a stroke while in a hospital bed. Nurse Jackie, played by Edie Falco, asked the man three questions to ascertain his condition:
- Can you smile for me?
- Can you lift both of your arms?
- Can you say anything to me?
- Vision loss, blurring or decreased vision in one or both eyes
- Weakness, numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg on either or both sides of the body
- Difficulty swallowing, speaking or understanding
- Dizziness, loss of balance or an unexplained fall
- Unexplained change in the pattern of headaches, or a severe headache with an abrupt onset
You are at risk for a stroke if you have any of these factors:
- Poor diet/ lack of exercise/being overweight
- High blood pressure or high cholesterol
- Cigarette smoking
- Drinking too much alcohol
Understanding the symptoms of a stroke are important for everyone, however, a medical professional such as a nurse with a degree in nursing is the best judge of these situations. If you suspect you have had a stroke, or you witness someone else displaying the signs of a stroke, be sure to seek medical care immediately.