B i s m i l l a a h i r   R a h m a a n i r   R a h e e m

Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatahu,

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This email which I received today is interesting, but is it true? I searched on 
the title of this urban legend chain e-mail and the first hit was, thankfully, 
to Snopes http://www.snopes.com/medical/disease/stroke.asp, which had 
appropriately tagged the claims made as false.

I feel that this email was written in good faith.  However, the information 
contained in this e-mail, credulously spread around the internet, is both wrong 
and dangerous. Anyone believing and following its advice would almost certainly 
cause harm.
First let me dispense with the claims that are made - primarily that minute 
bleeding through finger or earlobe pricks will prevent permanent damage from a 

There are actually several kinds of stroke and one should know what a stroke is.

Briefly, the term refers to the presentation of symptoms - stroke-like or 
sudden in appearance. The two main types of stroke are hemmorhagic and ischemic 
attack. When a person gets an acute stroke he will either die or suffer 
permanent serious disabilities. Hemmorhagic strokes are caused by bleeding into 
the brain. Ischemic strokes are caused by lack of blood flow to a portion of 
the brain, and are further divided by the cause of the blockage. Ischemic 
strokes can also secondarily bleed from the damage to the brain tissue and its 
blood vessels.

However, when a person gets a transient ischemic attack (TIA) the symptoms 
resolve within 24 hours, with no permanent damage. Therefore the miraculous 
recovery described in the email transmitted would have been due to the patient 
having gone through a TIA.  His recovery was not due to his having his blood 
drained from his fingers and ear lobes.

Let's take a look at the specific recommendations of this e-mail to see how 
harmful they are. The recommendations begin with the statement "when a stroke 
occurs," but it is not possible to say by observation alone when a stroke has 
occurred. All that you can tell from symptoms and examination is that a 
"stroke-like event" has occurred. Stroke-like symptoms can be caused by a 
seizure, a bleed, or a true ischemic stroke. There is no way to tell the 
difference without a CT-Scan.

The email advises not to move the patient. Then it says to sit the patient up. 
If the patient has a bleed sitting up (to a degree) may be helpful. But if the 
patient have an ischemic stroke then sitting up with further impair blood flow 
and make the stroke worse. There is no way to tell without a proper medical 
examination which kind of stroke a patient has, but most are ischemic so this 
advice is likely to cause harm by worsening the stroke. The underlying cause 
between acute stroke and TIA is the same. Therefore, it's very important to get 
immediate medical attention for all stroke victims. TIA is also a warning sign 
of increased risk of a full fledged stroke. In high risk demographics, the risk 
of stroke goes up ten-fold after a TIA. (reference: 

The bleeding through finger or earlobe pricks, as I mentioned above, is 
worthless and all it does is to delay getting the stroke victim to proper 
medical care. There is a saying in neurology, time = brain. Many countries have 
public health campaigns to treat stroke like a "brain attack" and to get 
patients to emergency medical care as soon as possible. This kind of 
nonsensical misinformation works directly against these efforts by telling 
people to waste a considerable amount of time pricking their fingers before 
doing anything useful.

The next statement is even worse - wait for the patient to regain consciousness 
(most stroke victims actually don't lose consciousness) and for the symptoms to 
resolve. Wow!!! - that is exactly the opposite of what we should do.

So what is the first thing we should do?

The first thing we should do is to get the stroke victim to the emergency room 
in time for tPA therapy. A blood thinner or clot busting drug called tPA* 
(Tissue plasminogen activator) must be administered within three hours of the 
onset of symptoms. Delaying hospitalization for whatever reason may worsen the 
patient's prognosis. (*Thrombolytic therapy is the use of drugs to break up or 
dissolve blood clots, which are the main cause of both heart attacks and 
stroke. The most commonly used drug for thrombolytic therapy is tissue 
plasminogen activator (tPA), but other drugs can do the same thing. 

Do not waste a single minute by driving slowly as suggested by the email which 
mentioned that moving a stroke victim might cause "irrepairable bursting of the 
brain capillaries". That is because the initial stroke has already occurred, so 
transport is unlikely to cause further harm.

Please do not try bloodletting at home. No Medical Journals, whether Western or 
Chinese Medicine, has ever recommended that any such treatment be tried in the 
home, so don't try it.

In conclusion, the claims made in this e-mail are absurd from a 
physiological/medical point of view and the recommendations based upon them are 
actually dangerous and almost certain to cause harm, mainly by delaying 
appropriate diagnosis and care in the setting of a genuine medical emergency. 
There is no compelling reason to believe anything contained in this e-mail. It 
has all the markings of urban legend SPAM.

Fee Amaanillaah,
Your sister,
K a r i m a


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: xxxxxxxxx
  Sent: Friday, July 18, 2008 7:23 PM

  From Prof Irene Liu, a Chinese Professor.

  Keep a syringe or needle in your home to do this...

  It's amazing and an unconventional way of recovering from stroke, read it 
through it can help somebody one day.

  This is amazing. Please keep this very handy. Excellent tips.

  Do take a minute to read this. You'll never know, ones life may depend on you.

  My father was paralyzed and later died from the result of a stroke.  I wish 
Iknew about this first aid before. When stroke strikes, the capillaries in the 
brain will gradually burst. (Irene Liu)

  When a stroke occurs, stay calm.  No matter where the victim is, do not move 
him/her.  Because, if moved, the capillaries will burst. Help the victim to sit 
up where he/she is to prevent him/her from falling over again and then the 
blood letting can begin.  If you have in your home an injection syringe that 
would be the best.  Otherwise, a sewing needle or a straight pin will do.

  1.   Place the needle/pin over fire to sterilize it and then use it to prick 
the tip of all ......10 fingers.

  2.  There are no specific acupuncture points, just prick about an mm from the 

  3.  Prick till blood comes out.

  4.  If blood does not start to drip, then squeeze with your fingers.

  5.  When all 10 digits are bleeding, wait a few minutes then the victim will 
regain consciousness.

  6.  If the victim's mouth is crooked, then pull on his ears until they are 

  7. Then prick each earlobe twice until two drops of blood comes from each 

  After a few minutes the victim should regain consciousness.   Wait till the 
victim regains his normal state without any abnormal symptoms then take him to 
the hospital.  Otherwise, if he was taken in the ambulance in a hurry to the 
hospital, the bumpy trip
  will cause all the capillaries in his brain to burst.

  If he could save his life, barely managing to walk, then it is by the grace 
of his ancestors.

  'I learned about letting blood to save life from Chinese traditional doctor, 
Ha Bu Ting, who lives in Sun Juke.

  Furthermore, I had practical experience with it.  Therefore, I can say this 
method is 100% effective.

  In 1979, I was teaching in Fung Gaap College in Tai Chung.  One afternoon, I 
was teaching a class when another teacher came running to my classroom and said 
in panting, 'Ms Liu, come quick, our supervisor has had a stroke!'. I 
immediately went to the 3rd floor.  When I saw our supervisor, Mr. Chen Fu 
Tien, his colour was off, his speech was slurred, his mouth was crooked - all 
the symptoms of a stroke.

  I immediately asked one of the practicum students to go to the pharmacy 
outside the school to buy a syringe, which I used to prick Mr. Chen's 10 
fingers tips.  When all 10 fingers were bleeding (each with a pea-sized drop of 
blood), after a few minutes, Mr. Chen's face regained its colour and his eyes' 
spirit returned, too.  But his mouth was still crooked.

  So I pulled on his ears to fill them with blood.  When his ears became red,  
I pricked his right earlobe twice to let out two drops of blood.  When both 
earlobes had two drops of blood each, a miracle happened.  Within 3-5 minutes 
the shape of his mouth returned to normal and his speech became clear.

  We let him rest for a while and have a cup of hot tea, then we helped him go 
down the stairs, drove him to Wei Wah Hospital. He rested one night and was 
released the next day to return to school to teach. Everything worked normally. 
There were no ill after effects.

  On the other hand, the usual stroke victim usually suffers Irreparable 
bursting of the brain capillaries on the way to the hospital. As a result, 
these victims never recover.'

  Therefore, stroke is the second cause of death. The lucky ones will stay 
alive but can remain paralyzed for life.  It is such a horrible thing to happen 
in one's life.

  If we can all remember this blood letting method and start the life saving 
process immediately, in a short time, the victim will
  be revived and regain 100% normality.



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