What is a stroke and how does it happen?
A stroke is a condition in which the arteries leading to and inside the brain get blocked. It most commonly affects the health of elderly people and we are still finding out about new treatments for stroke patients as research continues.
When a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or breaks, a stroke occurs (or ruptures). When this occurs, a part of the brain doesn't get the blood and oxygen it requires, and it, as well as brain cells, will die.
A stroke is a potentially life-threatening illness that happens when part of the blood supply to the brain is cut off. A stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention and help. The earlier a stroke victim gets the care they need, the less damage is likely to take place.
If you or someone you know is having a stroke, dial 999 and request medical help right away.
Symptoms - The following are the main symptoms of a stroke that can be remembered using the acronym FAST:
Face - the person's face may have sunk on one side, they may be unable to smile, or their lips or eye may have sunk.
Arms - Because of weakness or numbness in one arm, a person with a suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and maintain them there.
Speech - Even if a stroke victims seems to be awake, their speech may be slurred or garbled, or they may be unable to communicate at all.
Time - If you encounter any of these signs or symptoms, it's vital to call 999 right away.
The brain, like all organs, relies on blood for oxygen and nutrients to function properly and when the blood supply to the brain is reduced or cut off, brain cells begin to die. This can result in brain damage, incapacity, and even death.
Strokes are caused by two basic factors:
Ischaemic - 85 per cent of all cases are ischemic, in which the blood supply is cut off due to a blood clot.
Haemorrhagic - A weakened blood artery supplying the brain bursts, causing haemorrhage.
A Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) happens when the blood supply to the brain is temporarily restricted. This causes what's known as a mini-stroke. It can last anywhere from a few minutes to up to 24 hours. TIAs should be addressed as soon as possible because they're often a symptom that you're about to have a full stroke.
Even if your stroke symptoms improve, seek medical help as soon as possible.
Stroke risk is increased by a number of factors, including:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) - high cholesterol
- Heartbeats that aren't regular (atrial fibrillation)
- Diabetic complications
The brain is a very sophisticated organ that regulates many bodily activities. If a stroke happens and blood flow is cut off to the area of the brain that regulates a specific physical function, that part of the body will not operate properly leading to a variety of health problems.
There are many services available to help care for stroke victims and we specialise in providing support and information to anyone who has suffered a stroke or know someone who has.
Support services for fractures, joint repositioning, and back procedures are all provided here.
If necessary, we will be able to provide equipment.
We can also assist those who have lost movement as a result of general surgery in regaining their potential.
People's confidence can be decreased as they age, due to falls, especially in the elderly.
Our capable physiotherapists will be able to offer health support services through evaluation to determine the causes of falls. They will be able to assist or direct them in the proper way to regain confidence in their mobility.
People might become frail for a variety of reasons. Our physiotherapists will be able to provide support, advice and exercises to help manage fragility and begin mobilizing with confidence if necessary.
We have experienced physicists who can examine, support, and advise persons who have been addicted to drugs or alcohol and are suffering from neurological conditions such as stroke, Parkinson's, dementia or multiple sclerosis. If necessary, equipment and advice from a caregiver can be supplied.
Our physiotherapist will be able to assess and treat back pain, neck discomfort, sprains, and strains in a comprehensive manner. To address musculoskeletal and arthritic diseases, appropriate exercise and counselling will be provided.
When you come across someone who has had a stroke, it can be a very frightening experience so it is important to provide the best level of support and care for sufferers.
Care can be given in the following procedures:
The type of stroke you had, as well as which portion of the brain was injured and what caused it, will determine your treatment options.
Medication is frequently used to treat strokes. Medicines designed to stop blood clots, lower blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels may be provided.
Procedures to remove blood clots may be required in specific circumstances. If your stroke was caused by brain swelling, surgery may be required to correct it and limit the risk of further bleeding.
People who survive a stroke are frequently left with long-term issues as a result of brain impairment.
Respite comes in various forms and some people require extensive rehabilitation before regaining their former independence, while others never fully recover and require continual assistance after a stroke.
These services assist stroke survivors in learning or relearning the skills they need to live independently at home.
Strokes can often occur without warning so it is important to try and keep your health in great form. There are often events and group care services available to stroke sufferers and carers to help in dealing with a stroke. Check your local area for any group services or events running.
You can greatly lower your chances of having a stroke if you:
- Eating a nutritious diet
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Adhering to the acceptable alcohol consumption recommendations (not drinking more than 14 units a week)
- Don't smoke
- If you have a condition that puts you at risk for a stroke, it's critical to keep it under control. For example, you could take medicine to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol levels if you've been prescribed it.
If you've had a stroke or TIA before, these precautions are very critical because your chances of having another stroke are much higher.