What is a stroke?

Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the World. It occurs when the brain’s supply of blood to is interrupted or reduced and as a result, it does not get enough oxygen or nutrients. When this happens, it causes brain cells to die. There are three main kinds of stroke:

  • Ischemic – Ischemic strokes are caused by a narrowing or blocking of arteries to the brain.
  • Hemorrhagic – Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by blood vessels in and around the brain bursting or leaking.
  • TIA – Transient ischemic attacks are also referred to as mini-strokes.

What are the symptoms?

Strokes occur quickly and without warning. The main symptoms of stroke include:

  • Trouble with seeing, in one or both eyes
  • Confusion, including trouble with speaking and understanding
  • Headache, possibly with altered consciousness or vomiting
  • Numbness of the face, arm or leg, particularly on one side of the body
  • Trouble with walking, including dizziness and lack of coordination.

Strokes can lead to long-term problems. Diagnosing and treating the patient quickly is the best way to avoid permanent disabilities in the aftermath of a stroke. Remembering the acronym F.A.S.T. can help identify the onset of stroke more quickly.

  • Face drooping: Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arm weakness: Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech difficulty: Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • Time to call: If any of these signs are observed, contact the emergency services.