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Stroke FAQs

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a serious condition in which the blood supply to the brain cuts off due to a burst vessel or blood clot. All strokes are a medical emergency, and the sooner the individual receives treatment, the less damage is likely to happen. 

What causes a stroke?

Prior to a stroke, a blood vessel is either blocked by a blood clot or the vessel ruptures. This causes blood to be cut off from areas of the brain. Consequently, as the brain cannot get the blood it needs, the brain loses oxygen, causing brain cells to die. 

What happens to someone during a stroke? 

During a stroke, blood is cut off to areas of the brain. This causes changes within an individuals behaviour that can be identified by the word FAST:

  • FACE – the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye on one side of the face may have dropped 
  • ARMS – the person may struggle to lift their limbs
  • SPEECH – the person’s may struggle to talk, leading to slurred speech
  • TIME – the person needs you to dial 999 immediately 

What are the different types of stroke?

There are three different types of stroke, they are: 

  • Ischaemic stroke – the most common form of stroke
  • Haemorrhagic stroke – caused by a ruptured blood vessel 
  • Transient ischaemic attack (TIA) – also known as a mini-stroke 

What is an Ischaemic Stroke?

An Ischaemic stroke is the most common type of stroke, occurring when a blockage cuts off the blood supply to the brain. This causes the brain to lose oxygen, which then leads to a stroke.

What is a Haemorrhagic Stroke?

A Haemorrhagic stroke occurs through bleeding in or around the brain, caused by a blood vessel rupturing. Haemorrhagic strokes are severely life-threatening as brain cells can die within minutes. They are the least common form of stroke. 

What is a Transient Ischaemic Attack? 

Also known as a mini-stroke, a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) is a serious condition where the blood supply to the brain is temporarily disrupted. Mini strokes are often linked to an unhealthy lifestyle. 

What are the warning signs of a stroke? 

  • CONFUSION – trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • VISION TROUBLE – in one or both eyes
  • WALKING TROUBLE – dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • HEADACHE – a severe headache with no known cause 

 

How common are strokes in the UK? 

There are more than 100,000 strokes every year in the United Kingdom, equating to around one stroke every five minutes. Strokes are the fourth single leading cause of death in the UK, however, there are an estimated 1.2 million stroke survivors of strokes. 

Who is at risk of a stroke?

There are a number of factors that increase the risk of you having a stroke. Certain factors cannot be controlled, including gender, age and genetics. However, lifestyle factors can also play a part, including a poor diet, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, high salt intake, high cholesterol and heavy drinking. 

Can strokes cause permanent damage?

All stroke cases are unique as it depends on which part of the brain was damaged and to what extent. Early rehabilitation and treatment can improve the recovery rate, however, in severe cases, a stroke can cause permanent damage, a loss of function or even death. 

How long does it take to recover from a stroke? 

Although some people can recover quickly, many individuals who suffer from a stroke require a long period of time to fully rest and recover. The process of rehabilitation depends on the symptoms and their severity, so each individual case is different. Certain individuals may require stroke assistance to regain full independence. 

What percentage of stroke patients make a full recovery? 

It is estimated that currently:

  • Around 10% of stroke victims recover almost completely
  • Around 25% recover with minor impairments 
  • Around 40% have moderate to severe impairments requiring special care
  • Around 10 require full-time care 
  • Around 15% die shortly after a stroke

Is sleep good for stroke recovery?

For stroke survivors, a quality night’s sleep unearths a number of benefits. Sleep supports neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to create new connections between nerves in healthy parts of the brain). This allows stroke survivors to make progress with moments and functions. 

Can you regain use of your limbs after a stroke? 

For some individuals, rehabilitation helps you regain movement within your limbs following a stroke. However, it all depends on the severity of the stroke and the symptoms you face, as we have discussed, every case is different. 

Is there anything stroke patients should avoid? 

There are a number of things stroke patients should look to avoid, including: 

  • Smoking
  • Excessive amounts of alcohol 
  • Lack of exercise or therapy
  • An unbalanced diet 
  • Food with high salt content
  • Fatty foods
  • Processed foods

What kind of treatment is available for stroke victims? 

There are a number of treatments available for stroke victims. The effective treatment of a stroke can save lives and prevent long term disability. The treatments, however, depend on the form of stroke. 

What treatment is best for an ischaemic stroke? 

 

  • Aspirin – a painkiller and antiplatelet that reduces the chance of more clots forming 
  • Thrombolysis – injections of a clot-busting medicine called Alteplase dissolves blood clots and increases blood flow to the brain 
  • Thrombectomy – an emergency procedure that restores blood flow to the brain. Most effective straight after a stroke has taken place 
  • Blood pressure medicines – medicines can be taken in order to reduce blood pressure, further reducing the risk of another stroke 
  • Anticoagulants – prevent the risk of blood clots by changing the chemical composition of the blood 
  • Statins – reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood 
  • Carotid endarterectomy – a form of surgery that unblocks the carotid artery before removing the fatty plaque deposits 

 

What treatment is best for a hemorrhagic stroke? 

For hemorrhagic strokes, medicine (as mentioned above) will also be necessary to prevent the possibility of another stroke. However, as hemorrhagic strokes are often more serious, surgery can be required. 

 

  • Surgery – emergency surgery may be necessary to remove any blood on the brain. Any burst blood vessels can then also be repaired through surgical procedures
  • Hydrocephalus surgery – hydrocephalus leads fluid to build up in the cavities and ventricles of the brain, causing a number of symptoms upon the patient. Surgery can be performed which places a tube into the brain to drain the fluid 

 

What is the best care for a stroke? 

Following a stroke, if the patient wishes to remain in their home around safe, comfortable and familiar surroundings – home care is the best option. Home care offers flexible and personal stroke care without the daunting thought of moving into a care home. 

Outstanding rated stroke care 

At Trinity Homecare, we have been caring for those who have suffered from a stroke for over 20 years. We provide stroke care services in the patients home, and we have seen just how much of an impact remaining at home has on the individual. 

Whether it is full-time care or flexible visits, we provide help with your daily routine, medication, experience with symptoms, encourage exercise, support learning new skills and provide compassionate assistance whenever you need us. 

We are an outstanding rated home care provider that you can trust, if you require stroke care, contact a friendly member of our team today and they will be happy to help. 

 

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