All Emergencies - Basic life support principles:

  1. Maintain an airway
  2. Assess breathing
  3. Monitor circulation
Monitor and record all vital signs.

Assessment - See scanned sheets below.



If Conscious:

  1. OXYGEN? Use only if patient is hypoxemic. Why? Oxygen produces cerebral vasoconstriction which increases the area of infarction.
  2. Do not lay on back: as this pools blood to head
  3. Do not give any drug with a potential for CNS depression (Demerol, Versed are examples).
  4. If the patient remains conscious and the symptoms disappear in 2-10 minutes, then the patient probably has had a TIA. A TIA is a heart-attack of the brain and should be referred to ER for follow-up and evaluated immediately.
    • The patient should not be allowed to drive and released only with another adult.
  5. EMS should be activated if symptoms persist longer than 5-10 minutes.


If Unconscious:

Activate EMS. Initiate BLS as needed. Because elevation of BP is very common (esp in hemorrhagic stroke), the patients head should be slightly elevated from the supine position.