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Stroke Diagnosed by Phone Selfie: ‘Remarkable’ Says Dr. Dorothea Altschul

 

Before and after stroke documented by selfies. Images from Today and NBC News
Before and after stroke documented by selfies. Images from Today and NBC News

A Canadian woman, Stacey Yepes, was out driving when the left side of her body went numb. The same thing had happened the day before but the symptoms had gone away, and doctors had said she was fine. This time she pulled over and filmed herself on her phone.

The selfie she took demonstrated drooping on the left side of her face and obvious changes in her speech. The video was indispensable to ER physicians who, after diagnosing Yepes with a full blown stroke, acted quickly to save her life. The story was covered by Today Health last month and it has gone viral.

“This is a remarkable story,” says Dr. Dorothea Altschul, interventional neurologist and stroke specialist. “Fortunately the woman is expected to make a full recovery, but it could have ended much worse for her if she wasn’t such a savvy and persistent patient. Stroke signs can be subtle and rapid diagnosis is important to get appropriate treatment. I sometimes ask my patients if they could show me their driver’s license picture so I could compare their face symmetry to what it was before.With all the wonderful technology today, it is even easier to track times of onset and old pictures, but not everyone has access to it, especially elderly people.”

Dr. Altschul emphasizes that quick treatment offers the best chance of recovery and survival, and the first step is recognizing the signs of a stroke.

Dr. Dorothea Altschul
Dr. Dorothea Altschul

Dr. Altschul offers the mnemonic F-A-S-T to help learn the signs.

  • F- face symmetry
  • A- arm weakness
  • S- speech problems
  • T- time- do not hesitate to call 9-1-1 as soon as you think you have a stroke.

Remember, whether you have a phone to document your symptoms or not, get help FAST.

Read the original article on Today Health here.

Learn more about Dr. Dorothea Altschul on her bio page here.

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