LIFESTYLE

Woman Films Minor Stroke 'Selfie' After Doctors Claim She Was Just Stressed

19/06/2014 11:53 BST | Updated 19/06/2014 11:59 BST

A quick-thinking Canadian woman has put the 'selfie' craze to good use, by filming herself having a minor stroke after doctors told her she was just stressed.

When Stacey Yerpes felt the tingling sensation while driving her car, she quickly pulled out her phone, hit record and started describing exactly how she felt so that doctors could diagnose her.

She'd experienced the symptoms - slurred speech, loss of feeling, tingling sensations - the day before, but when she visited the hospital she was diagnosed with stress.

"I was scared. I kept thinking as I could hear myself speaking of all the (public service) announcements on the TV," she recalls in the video above. "And I thought, 'Oh, my goodness, this is a stroke.'"

stacey yepes stroke

"We've never had a patient do this before," Dr. Cheryl Jaigobin said of Yepes' video selfie.

Stacey had an ischaemic stroke, which is the most common type of stroke.

According to the NHS, these occur when blood clots block the flow of blood to the brain. Blood clots typically form in areas where the arteries have been narrowed or blocked by fatty cholesterol-containing deposits known as plaques. This narrowing of the arteries is caused by atherosclerosis.

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While arteries naturally become narrower as we age, certain things can accelerate this process and increase risk of stroke. These include smoking, high blood pressure (hypertension), obesity, high cholesterol levels (often caused by a high-fat diet, but can result from inherited factors), a family history of heart disease or diabetes,excessive alcohol intake.

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Dr Jaigobin says that warning signs include loss of speech, slurring or an inability to form words; weakness or paralysis on one side of the body; double vision or loss of vision; balance problems; and pronounced dizziness.

"Stroke can affect anyone at any age, and in fact studies are showing that younger people are presenting with stroke because things that we usually saw in older age, like high blood pressure and diabetes and high cholesterol, in our modern North American society they tend to occur at a younger age," said Dr Jaigobin.