Would You Know What To Do?



For almost twenty five years I have been involved in the Emergency Services as a Firefighter and Emergency Responder. I have had to deal with numerous situations both while at work and in my private life. As an instructor in First Aid and CPR for many years,  I have always been proud to be able to teach others the importance of properly responding to potential medical concerns. I have always encouraged others to obtain certification in First Aid and CPR in the event that they are ever faced with a medical crisis. I always mention that hopefully, it is the one skill that the average person never has to use. Nevertheless, it is good to be prepared. This past weekend, while I was in the process of starting my training regime at the University Of Toronto – Mississauga, I came face to face with a potentially life threatening concern. I encountered a 22 year old male individual having difficulty, that was exhibiting symptoms of dizziness, headaches, vision issues and slurred speech. I immediately recognized these symptoms as relating to a possible stroke. I quickly notified 911 for immediate assistance. I gave the dispatcher a full synopsis of the symptoms to properly prepare the arriving Paramedics. Early recognition of the symptoms prevented a potential tragedy and the young man in question is expected to make a full recovery. You might be wondering – a 22 year old having a stroke? Stroke is commonly thought of as an affliction of older people, but strokes can strike people of any age, including infants, children and young adults. Statistics are showing an increased incidence of strokes in younger people due to lifestyle, poor dietary habits and inactivity. The level of fitness in young adults has dropped dramatically in the last twenty years. This inactivity will eventually lead to a generation that will have numerous medical concerns including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. How can we all help? Be a role model for your friends, family and children on the importance of exercising and proper nutrition. Remember, when it comes to age – a stroke shows no prejudice.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a sudden loss of brain function. It is caused by the interruption of blood flow to the brain (ischemic stroke) or the rupture of blood vessels in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). The interruption of blood flow or the rupture of blood vessels causes brain cells (neurons) in the affected area to die. The effects of a stroke depend on where the brain was injured, as well as how much damage occurred. Early detection of symptoms can assist full recovery and prevent permanent damage.

Stroke Warning Signs

Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately if you or someone else experiences any of these symptoms:

Weakness – Sudden loss of strength or sudden numbness in the face, arm or leg, even if temporary.

Trouble Speaking – Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding or sudden confusion, even if temporary.

Vision Problems – Sudden trouble with vision, even if temporary.

Headache – Sudden severe and unusual headache.

Dizziness – Sudden loss of balance, especially with any of the above signs.,

Stroke is a medical emergency. Recognizing and responding immediately to the ‘Stroke Warning Signs’ by calling 911 or your local emergency number, can significantly survival and recovery. Always be aware and prepared. Educate yourself. Enlist in a First Aid and CPR course – if you haven’t already. You won’t regret it. It may help save your life or that of a loved one … Stay safe …


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