Information about stroke
A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is disrupted and brain cells are damaged or die.
Around 8 out of 10 strokes are caused by a blood clot that blocks an artery carrying blood to the brain. The others result from a burst blood vessel that causes bleeding into the brain.
Strokes are sudden and their effects are immediate. Stroke is the third largest cause of death in England, and the largest cause of adult disability.
How to recognise the symptoms
Stroke symptoms vary from person to person according to which part of the brain has been affected and the extent of the damage.
The commonest symptoms include:
- becoming numb, weak or paralysed on one side of the body.
- slurred speech, and finding it difficult to talk or understand what is being said. blurred vision or loss of sight.
- confusion and unsteadiness.
Other symptoms can include:
- dizziness and problems with balance and coordination,
- difficulty swallowing,
- severe headaches,
- loss of consciousness (in severe cases).
What to do if someone has a stroke
If you think someone is having a stroke, dial 999 immediatelyso that they can be taken to the nearest Accident & Emergency Department.
Use the FAST test to check if someone is having a stroke:
|F||Facial weakness. Can the person smile? Has their face, mouth or eye drooped on one side?|
|A||Arm weakness. Can the person raise both arms and keep them there?|
|S||Speech problems. Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?|
|T||Time to act. Dial 999 if you see any of these signs or symptoms.|