Designed by a Stroke survivor to support Stroke victims
Fundraising total: £2010
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A Stroke is a serious, life-threatning medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.
Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential because the sooner a person receives treatment dor a Stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.
If you suspect that you or someone else is having a Stroke, phone 999 immediatetly and ask for an amberlaunce.
Signs and Symtoms
The main symtoms of Stroke can be remembered with the word "FAST" Face-Arms-Speech-Time.
-Face - the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile or their mouth or eye may have dropped.
-Arms - the person with suspected Stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of arm weakness or numbness in one arm.
-Speech - their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk to talk at all despite appearing to be awake.
-Time - it is time to dial 999 immediately if you see these signs or symtoms.
Why do Strokes happen?
Like all organs, the brain needs the oxygen and nutrients provided by blood to function properly. If the supply of blood is restricted or stopped, brain cells begain to die. This can lead to brain injury, disability and possibly death.
There are two main cases of Strokes:
-Ischaemic - where the blood supply is stopped due to blood clot.
-Haemorrhagic - where a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain bursts.
There is also a related condition known as a "Transient Ischaemic Attack" (TIA), where the supply of blood to the brain is temporarily interupted, causing a mini-stroke often lasting between 30 minutes and several hours. TIAs should be treated seriously as they are often a warning signthat you are at risk of having a full Strokein the near future.
Who is at risk?
In the UK, Strokes are a major health problem. Every year around 110,000 people have a Stroke in England and it is the third largest cause of death, after Heart Disease and Cancer. The brain injuries caused by Strokes are a major cause of adult disability in the UK.
Older people are most at risk or having Strokes, although they can happen at any age - including in children.
If you are south Asian, African or Caribbean, your risk of Stroke is higher. This is partly because of a predispostion to developing high blood pressure (Hypertension) which can lead to Strokes.
Smoking, being overweight, lack of exercise and a poor diet are also risk factors for Stroke, as are high cholesterol, artial fibrillation and diabetes.
How Strokes are treated
Treatment depends on the type of Stroke you have, including which part of the brain was affectedand what caused it.
Most often, Strokes are treated with medication. This generally includes medicines to prevent and remove blood clots, reduce blood pressure and reduce chlesterol levels.
In some cases, surgery may be required to treat brain swelling and reduce the risk of further bleeding in cases of haemorrhagic Strokes.
Life after a Stroke
Around one in every four people who has a Stroke will die, and those who do survive are often left with long-term problems rsulting from the injury to their brain.
Some people need to have a long period of rehabilitation before they can recover their former inderpendance, while many will never fully recover and will need support adjusting to living with the effects of their Stroke.
Local authoritiesd should provide free "reablement services" for anyone assessed as needing them. These services help the person recovering from a Stroke to learn or relearn the sdkills necessary for inderpendent living at home.
Around half the people who have a Stroke will be dependant on some form of care for help with their daily activities.
For example, a care worker could come to the person's home to help with washing and dressing, or even just to provide companionship.
A team of specialists are also available to help, including physiotherapists, psychologists, occaptional therapists, speech therapists and specialist nurses and doctors.