World Stroke Day 2018

Published: 22/05/2019

At Bluebird Care Camden & Hampstead we fully support this day and want to raise awareness about this condition.

A stroke is a serious life-threatening 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. The sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.

How can we tell if somebody is having a stroke? There is a FAST test that you can do: 

  • Face: Can the person smile? Has their face fallen on one side?
  • Arms: Can the person raise both arms and keep them there?
  • Speech problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say? Is their speech slurred?
  • Time: If you see any of these three signs, it's time to call 999.

 There are other signs that you should always take seriously. These include:

  • sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, including legs, hands or feet.
  • difficulty finding words or speaking in clear sentences.
  • sudden blurred vision or loss of sight in one or both eyes.
  • sudden memory loss or confusion, and dizziness; or a sudden fall.
  • a sudden, severe headache.

There are two main types of stroke, the ischaemic strokes and haemorrhagic strokes. Both affect the brain in different ways and can have different causes.

Ischaemic strokes

Ischaemic strokes are the most common type of stroke. They occur when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.

These blood clots typically form in areas where the arteries have been narrowed or blocked over time by fatty deposits known as plaques. This process is known as astherosclerosis.

As you get older, the arteries can naturally narrow, but certain things can dangerously accelerate the process.

These include:

  • smoking 
  • high blood pressure 
  • obesity 
  • high cholecterol levels
  • diabetes 
  • excessive alcohol intake

Another possible cause of ischaemic stroke is a type of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation. This can cause blood clots in the heart that break up and escape from the heart, and become lodged in the blood vessels supplying the brain.

Haemorrhagic strokes

Haemorrhagic strokes – also known as cerebral haemorrhages or intracranial haemorrhages – are less common than ischaemic strokes. They occur when a blood vessel within the skull bursts and bleeds into and around the brain.

The main cause of haemorrhagic stroke is high blood pressure, which can weaken the arteries in the brain and make them prone to split or rupture.

Things that increase the risk of high blood pressure include:

  • being overweight or obese
  • drinking excessive amounts of alcohol 
  • smoking
  • a lack of exercise 
  • stress, which may cause a temporary rise in blood pressure

Haemorrhagic strokes can also occur as the result of the rupture of a balloon-like expansion of a blood vessel or abnormally formed blood vessels in the brain.

MOST IMPORTANT. Can it be prevented? How? 

Lower Your Blood Pressure
Stay Away From Smoking
Manage Your Heart
No Alcohol
Control Your Diabetes
Exercise. Keep active
Eat Better and healthy
Control your Cholesterol 

If you suspect that you or someone else is having a stroke, phone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance. 

If you live in the Camden and Hampstead area and would like to speak to us about how our flexible homecare and stroke care could help you manage the challenges of living after having a stroke, please get in touch. You can call our helpful team for a chat on 020 7449 0557 or drop us a line using our online form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.