What is a Stroke?

A stroke is caused when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, and kills the brain cells.

Damage to the brain can affect different things including how the body works or how you think or feel. Stroke side affects are varied and depend on what part of the brain was affected.

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Stroke statistics

  • Around 100,000 stroke happen each year in the UK
  • Around 34,000 death per year in the UK as a result of Stroke
  • Fourth single leading cause of death in the UK
  • Around 1.9millions nerve cells in the brain are lost every minute a stroke is left untreated, which is why it is so important to act FAST
  • If left untreated a Stroke can result in permanent disability or death


Different types of Strokes

Ischaemic Stroke – this is the most common type of stroke, this is when the blood supply is cut off to part of the brain

Haemorrhagic Stroke – this is caused by bleeding around the brain

Transient Ischaemic Stroke (TIA) – this is also know as a mini stroke, the symptoms of this are often temporary because the blockage stopping blood get to the brain is only temporary.


What are the symptoms of a Stroke?

Stroke can happen to anyone at anytime, and it is really important to know the signs to enable to fast effective treatment. The sooner a stroke is treated the better chance of survival and recovery.

Common symptoms include:

  • ​Face – has the persons face drooped? Can they smile? Arm
  • Weakness – can the person raise both arms? Is the person experiencing sudden weakness in their arm or one side of body?
  • Speech – has the persons speech changed? Can you understand them?
  • Confusion – is the person experiencing confusion such as memory loss, dizziness and/or sudden falls?
  • Vision – is the person experiencing blurred or loss of vision in one or both eyes? Does the person have a sudden headache that is severe?

If you see any of these sign, call 999 immediately.

What can increase my risk of having a stroke?

There are many factors that contribute to a stroke, including:


What can I do reduce my risk of having a stroke?

Thankfully many of the factors that increase the risk of stroke can be reduced through simple lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Limit your alcohol intake
  • Becoming more active each day
  • Eating a healthy balanced diet, avoiding foods with high salt and saturated fats
  • Monitor you Blood Pressure at home – taking your Blood pressure at home is easy and can help to detect raised blood pressure. Left undetected high blood pressure can lead to heart attack or stroke. To learn more about Blood pressure click here

To learn more about simple effective lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the risk of stroke, visit our lifestyle page here

What happens following a Stroke?

Following Stroke, some people may have long-term side affects and require rehabilitation support to help them make the best possible recovery. Rehabilitation often starts in hospital and will continue following your discharge home or into a community setting. Rehabilitation will be dependent upon your individual circumstances and be tailored to your needs.

Depending upon your needs a team of specialists may support you with your rehabilitation following a stroke including:

  • Physiotherapists – support you to regain your strength and movement following a stroke
  • Occupational Therapists – support you to re-learn every day activities to help you return to your normal life following a stroke
  • Speech & Language Therapists – support patients if they are having difficulties with their speech, and issues with eating and swallowing
  • Social Work support – work with the patient, family & carers to set & achieve realistic goals based on the patients needs.

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