What is a Stroke?
Strokes occur when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off or limited. This causes brain cells to die or get damaged. The damage can have different levels of impact depending on where it happens in your brain and could ultimately lead to death.
There are two types of strokes:
Ischemic: This type occurs when there is a blockage in the artery supplying blood to the brain
Hemorrhagic: This type occurs when a blood vessel bursts and blood bleeds into the brain. This then damages the brain tissue and limits the oxygen supply to the brain
The main cause of strokes is coronary heart disease (CHD). Often the brain’s oxygen supply gets cut off by a blockage in the artery after a fatty deposit breaks off from the artery wall.
Symptoms of a Stroke
The acronym F.A.S.T is used to tell people to ‘Act fast’ should they suspect someone is having a stroke, due to the importance of quick medical treatment. This will help you spot the symptoms:
- Facial weakness – can they smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
- Arm weakness – can they raise both their arms above their head?
- Speech problems – can they speak clearly? Can they understand you?
- Time – time is crucial in reducing the effects of a stroke
If you believe someone is having a stroke call 999 immediately.
Mini Strokes or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
These occur when there is a temporary blockage of oxygen to the brain. Fortunately, they do not usually cause permanent damage. However, they can present in the same way as a normal stroke and so you should still call 999 straight away.
For more information on strokes visit: https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/conditions/stroke