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Snopes.com is the destination of choice for anyone wanting to check the facts in that lastest email from Cousin Hortense -- you know, the one about the painted cats...or was it the one about buying (or not buying, depending on which version she forwarded) Citgo gas. Snopes, or the Urban Legends Reference Pages, is a great resource for "just the facts, ma'am," as Jack Webb said on television long before the last two generations of emailers were born.

So it comes as no surprise that Snopes offers some good information (and additional links) on strokes, and the stroke emails to heed and the ones to trash. Here's a sample:

This might be a lifesaver if you can remember the following advice, sent by a nurse, whose husband is a medical doctor.

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. A stroke victim may suffer permanent brain damage when people fail to recognize what's happening. Now, doctors say any bystander can recognize a stroke, simply by asking three questions:

  • ask the individual to smile.

  • ask him or her to raise both arms.

  • ask the person to speak a simple sentence.

If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 911 immediately, and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. Researchers are urging the general public to learn to ask these three questions quickly, to someone they suspect of having a stroke. Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of a stroke, and prevent permanent brain damage.

You may want to pass this along.


The page offers some sound information about strokes in general and offers these links to follow up:

CDC's Division of Heart Disease and Strokes Prevention

CDC's Statistics on Strokes

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