September 26, 2020
September 19, 2020
September 9, 2020
Strokes that affect blood vessels at the back of the brain are associated with significant diagnostic error (1). This finding mirrors my stroke experience. Sixteen years ago my brainstem stroke started when I repeated fell back on my bed while putting on eye make-up. In the emergency room I was able to talk and sign my name so I was left alone and fell asleep. When I woke up I called to find out if I could have something to eat because I did not have breakfast. A staff member did a neuro check and looked concerned when I could not squeeze her hand with my right hand. A neurologist was not on duty so it took a while before someone ordered brain scans.
Abedi's suggestion that hospitals should use artificial intelligence to improve diagnosis of these strokes (1) really makes me angry. Facilities do not need to buy expensive computer programs to diagnose a stroke in posterior blood vessels. Health care professionals need to forget the old F.A.S.T. warning signs and learn the new B.E.F.A.S.T. The B. and E. are signs of a posterior stroke like a brainstem stroke caused by damage to the vertebral artery.
B = Balance. SUDDEN loss of balance/dizziness/coordination is not caused by an ear infection.
E = Eyes. SUDDEN difficulty seeing out of one or both eyes (e.g. blurred or double vision).
F = Face. Weakness of one side of the face that produces an uneven smile; facial numbness.
A = Arm. Weakness of one arm (e.g. unable to raise both arms evenly).
S = Speech. Slurred speech; trouble understanding speech, difficulty repeating simple phrases
T = Time lost = brain lost. Call 911 immediately.
1. Abedi A, et al. Using artificial intelligence for improving diagnosis in emergency departments: a practical framework. sagepub.com. August 25, 2020. doi.org/10.1177/1756286420938962.
September 3, 2020
A cheap seam ripper I bought at a sewing goods store got rid of a ton of frustration. I open seals around the top of bottles by slipping the point of the seam ripper under the edge and ripping upwards or downwards. Then I pull off the seal by grabbing the cut edge with my sound hand while I squeeze the bottle between my thighs. Sometimes I grab the cut edge with my teeth as my sound hand holds the bottle. No more trying to slice with the tip of a knife which shreds rather that cuts.