A stroke is where the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted. The main causes of strokes are ruptured blood vessel, damage to the brain, or blockages to a blood vessel occurring in or around the brain. Strokes can occur in young people as well as well as the elderly.

Signs and Symptoms may include:

  • Confusion
  • Severe headache
  • Facial weakness with difficulty in swallowing.
  • Unequal pupils may be possible.
  • Casualty may be unconscious.
  • Loss of movement, feeling or control of one side of the body.
  • Slurred or garbled speech
  • Epileptic seizures may occur.
  • Pulse may be strong.

If you suspect someone may be having a stroke, do this simple test:

S Smile. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the mouth droop?

TTalk. Talk to the person. Is their speech slurred?

AAsk them easy questions. i.e. What is the date? Where are you?

RRaise. Ask the person to raise their arms. Is one arm lower that the other?


  • Follow the Basic First Aid Plan to assess the casualty.
  • Call for an Ambulance.
  • Make the casualty comfortable.
  • If unconscious, place the casualty in the lateral position, with the affected side down to allow any saliva to drain from the mouth.
  • If conscious, lean the casualty towards the affected side.
  • Raise the head and shoulders slightly.
  • The casualty will benefit from oxygen therapy.
  • Reassure the casualty. Do not panic.
  • As you move the casualty, watch how you handle the affected limbs as they can be dislocated or the muscles damaged.