Spotting the Signs of a Stroke

International Stroke Week is upon us, but the majority of people remain uneducated on the risk factors and signs of strokes.

A stroke is a sudden interruption in the blood supply of the brain. Most strokes are caused by an abrupt blockage of arteries leading to the brain (ischemic stroke). Other strokes are caused by bleeding into brain tissue when a blood vessel bursts (haemorrhagic stroke). Because strokes occur rapidly and require immediate treatment, a stroke is also called a brain attack. When the symptoms of a stroke last only a short time (less than an hour), this is called a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke.

Factors:

Some factors expose you to the risk of having a stroke such as Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Cardiovascular Disease (heart problems), Diabetes and Stress.

Symptoms and Action:

When you are experiencing a stroke, you could feel a sudden onset of weakness in the face (drooping of one side), sudden weakness in one of your arms and/or unforeseen speech difficulties (slurring). A stroke is a medical emergency, and it is vital that you get to the hospital as quickly as possible.

If you or a loved one has had a stroke, there is hope. The next step would be rehabilitation by an interdisciplinary team who sets up a patient-centred individualised treatment plan to restore as much function as possible for you to participate in your environment and community.