A stroke is when there is poor blood flow to the brain causing brain damage and rapid symptoms. It’s a medical emergency.
You need to act FAST to save the remaining parts of the brain as every second count!
There are 2 main types of stroke;
1. Ischemic stroke: due to blockage of a blood vessel in the brain
2. Hemorrhagic stroke: due to bleeding directly into the brain or into the space between the membranes that cover it (meninges)
These 8 factors can make you more likely to have a stroke
1. High blood pressure
5. High blood cholesterol
6. Kidney disease
7. Irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation)
8. Previous mini-stroke (stroke symptoms that lasted less than 24hrs)
7 common symptoms of stroke you should know
1. Deviation of face to one side
2. Unable to move/feel on one side
3. Slurred speech
4. Loss of vision in one side
All may not always be there but suspect stroke if someone has especially the first four.
There could be other symptoms of stroke depending on the part of the brain where blood flow is affected and the sex of the individual. This pix shows you some of the stroke symptoms in Women Vs. Men.
Once you suspect a stroke, don’t waste time. Every second matter. If you’re alone, shout for help! If there’s an emergency line dial fast!
If there’s none, move the patient to the hospital fast, the more seconds you waste, the more brain tissue gets damaged!
To diagnose stroke properly, your doctor would typically;
• perform a physical exam on you paying attention to your blood pressure, and
• order for tests like;
• Brain scan (esp CT -computed tomography)
• Heart scan (Echo)
• ECG (electrocardiogram)
• Chest X-ray
• Blood tests
Early treatment of stroke with medications like “clot busters” can reduce brain damage while other treatment modalities will focus on limiting the complication and preventing more strokes from happening.
There are many complications of stroke including
1. Brain swelling
2. Abnormal blood clots
3. Chest infection (Pneumonia)
7. Urinary infections
8. Speech problems
9. Muscle tightness
10. Chronic headaches
To prevent stroke, the most important thing is to prevent/reduce the risk factors we listed above
1. CHECK YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE REGULARLY: Can’t stress this enough
2. Eat healthy ‘
4. No smoking
5. No excess alcohol
6. If placed on BP medications, take them religiously
Some of the damage caused by a stroke can not be reversed no matter what treatment is given. That’s why we must act fast to prevent extensive brain injury when we suspect a stroke.