Monday, 13th July 2020

This Month's Magazine
STROKES - What to do.

STROKES - What to do.

Extract taken form Angels Nursing Group newsletter, supplied by Sonia Fendley of STM Nummos Life. For contact details please contact 956 796148

A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. It is a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential.

The sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen. If you suspect that you or someone else is having a stroke, immediately call for an ambulance.

The main symptoms of a stroke can be remembered with the word F.A.S.T.:

  • FACE: The face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped
  • ARMS: The person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm 
  • SPEECH: The speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake
  • TIME: It’s time to dial 112 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.

Like all organs, the brain needs the oxygen and nutrients provided by blood to function properly. If the supply of blood is restricted or stopped, brain cells begin to die. This can lead to brain injury, disability and possibly death.

There are two main causes of strokes:
ischaemic – where the blood supply is stopped because of a blood clot, accounting for 85% of all cases
haemorrhagic – where a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain bursts



There’s also a related condition known as a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), where the blood supply to the brain is temporarily interrupted. This causes what’s known as a mini-stroke, often lasting between a few minutes and several hours.

TIAs should be treated urgently, they’re often a warning you’re at risk of having a full stroke in the near future. Seek medical advice as soon as possible, even if your symptoms resolve.

High blood pressure (hypertension); High cholesterol; Atrial fibrillation; Diabetes are conditions that increase the risk of a stroke.

You can significantly reduce your risk of having a stroke through leading a healthy lifestyle by: Eating a healthy diet; Taking regular exercise; Drinking alcohol in moderation; Not smoking.

If you have a condition that increases your risk of a stroke, it’s important to manage it effectively – for example, by lowering high blood pressure or cholesterol levels with medication. If you’ve had a stroke or TIA in the past, these measures are particularly important because your risk of having another stroke is greatly increased.

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