Here’s some important information which could save lives.
Four simple indicators of a stoke.
I received this short story by email recently. It illustrates the importance of rapid stroke identification:
During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall – she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) .she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.
They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening
Ingrid’s husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital – (at 6:00 PM Ingrid passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some don’t die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.
Neurologists say if they can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours they can totally reverse the effects of a stroke…totally. The trick is getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.
The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
Recognise the symptoms
STROKE: Remember the 1st Four Letters….S.T.R.O.
Bystanders can recognize a stroke by asking four simple questions:
S *Ask the individual to SMILE.
T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
(I.e. It is sunny out today.)
R*Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of the first three tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
O* Ask him to stick O*UT HIS TONGUE.
If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other,that is also an indication of a stroke.
Smile – Talk – Arms – Tongue
Sounds like PZ Myers’ health problems are more serious than he first thought. He is currently in hospital for more tests – and from the sounds of it – an operation (see That’s not a heart! It’s a flailing Engine of Destruction!)
Hopefully things will go well. He will get the necessary repairs, a well-deserved rest and return renewed to his blogging. I try to read his blog, Pharyngula, daily and I know others do as well. I enjoy his daily dose of humour and common sense.
PZ Myers answers questions at the Melbourne Convention. Photo: Geoff Cowan
PZ is an excellent communicator and we need more people like PZ to defend science and reason. I am personally amazed at the time and effort he puts into this communication. During the last year he has been on sabbatical leave. While he has been writing a book I know this is disrupted by the traveling and large number of meetings he has been speaking at. In the USA and internationally.
I met him last March at the World Atheist Convention in Melbourne and was impressed at how eager he was to meet everyone. This willingness to make himself so available has resulted in a hectic round of speaking engagements and public appearances in this last year. While this has been great for the communication of science and reason it must have had a toll on his health.
So, hopefully, PZ will take this health alarm as a warning. Recognise that he needs to consider his own needs more and turn down some of the requests for public appearances. Hopefully Myers will return to blogging soon. And I hope to see his book published. I will be satisfied with that and I am sure most of his regular readers will be too.
PZ has appealed to his readers not to “waste your time with prayers.” After all he is getting some real help from medical experts. I wish him well and look forward to his successful recovery. Many of his readers are doing the same. One of these well wishers was Richard Dawkins, who commented: “How noble, how typical of the man and of everything he stands for, to use humour in making such an announcement.”
Which brings me to another of my concerns. Dawkins is also someone who gives his time extremely readily. His life must also be very hectic. I was aware that at the time of the World Atheist convention he was traveling around New Zealand and Australia and speaking to sell out audiences. It amazed me that he spoke in Auckland on the Saturday night and in Melbourne on the Sunday afternoon. Those who went along to hear him certainly appreciate his willingness to make himself so available. But perhaps he should also be taking a lesson from PZs current health problems.
Posted in agnostic, agnosticism, atheism, Dawkins, evolution, philosophy, SciBlogs, science, Science and Society
Tagged Auckland, Australia, Health, Melbourne, New Zealand, Pharyngula, PZ Myers
Apparently scientists from Environmental Science and Research (ESR) have established that cannabis grown in New Zealand is four times stronger than when they last tested 14 years ago ( see Cannabis grown in NZ stronger than ever, study finds).
I wonder if this is just an example of evolution by natural selection.
Or is it domestication?
Maybe even intelligent design?
This from the NZ Skeptics:
A public mass overdose of homeopathic remedies has forced the New Zealand Council of Homeopaths to admit openly that their products do not contain any “material substances”. Council spokeswoman Mary Glaisyer admitted publicly that “there´s not one molecule of the original substance remaining” in the diluted remedies that form the basis of this multi-million-dollar industry.
The NZ Skeptics, in conjunction with 10:23, Skeptics in the Pub and other groups nationally and around the world, held the mass overdose in Christchurch on Saturday to highlight the fact that homeopathic products are simply very expensive water drops or sugar/lactose pills. A further aim was to question the ethical issues of pharmacies, in particular, stocking and promoting sham products and services.
“You´re paying $10 for a teaspoon of water that even the homeopaths say has no material substance in it,” says Skeptics Chair Vicki Hyde.
“Yet a recent survey showed that 94% of New Zealanders using homeopathic products aren´t aware of this basic fact – their homeopath or health professional hasn´t disclosed this. The customers believe they are paying for the substances listed on the box, but those were only in the water once upon a time before the massive dilution process began – along with everything else that the water once had in it — the chlorine, the beer, the urine….”
Update to A victory for Simon Singh.
Apparently the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) have given way to emotion in a public commen on Simon Singh’s small legal victory. In a press release (see BCAStatement 14 10 09) they claim that “the BSA was maliciously attacked by Dr Singh in the Guardian article.” Jack of Kent comments that this amounts to defamation and Singh could now counter sue (see BCA Defame Simon Singh). The BCA obviously realised this because they quietly withdrew and rewrote their press release (see BCA Statement 15 10 09).
This development could mean the BCA has drastically weakened their case.
Science writer Simon Singh has won a victory in his chiropractic libel battle!
I initially discussed his case in Suppressing science. Briefly, Singh was being sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) because of an article of his in the Guardian. In this he referred to the chiropractic profession happily promoting “bogus treatments.” See Beware the Spinal Trap for the text of Singh’s article.
Posted in culture, diversity, Science and Society, superstition
Tagged Alternative, BCA, British Chiropractic Association, Chiropractic, Defamation, Guardian, Health, Simon Singh
I’m currently reading Zoltan Torey’s book The Crucible of Consciousness: An Integrated Theory of Mind and Brain. It’s fascinating and I will put up a review some time soon.
In the model he proposes for the self aware mind (consciousness) he deals with problems the mind has to confront. Reflective awareness can lead to chronic anxiety, fretting and anticipation of danger. Human reflective awareness has given us unique and powerful abilities but they “are not altogether a blessing. Or at least blessing that have to be paid for very dearly indeed.”
Posted in New Zealand, religion, science, supernatural, superstition
Tagged Anxiety, Duke University, Health, Mental disorder, Mental health, New Zealanders, Psychology