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.