Signs of a stroke

What happens when you have a stroke?

Of all the health conditions I’ve covered, I think stroke has got to be the most terrifying.

The prospect of being left permanently paralysed, disfigured, or unable to communicate is mind bogglingly scary.

The effects of a stroke vary considerably from one person to another – and that’s because a stroke can occur anywhere in the brain. Therefore the symptoms that it triggers are determined by the functions controlled by the region in which it occurs. If the part of your brain that controls memory is affected, you may have years of memories wiped out. If it happens in the part that you use to read, words may become jumbled and indecipherable.

For this feature (link to Yours stroke pdf), I spoke to Dr Terry Quinn, a stroke researcher at Glasgow Royal Infirmary who explained that, if your perception is affected, you may even believe that one half of your body belongs to someone else…

Critical to how you will go on to recover from one of these horrifying scenarios is how quickly you get help in the first place.

The government’s advice is to think and act FAST, with FAST being an acronym for Face (has it fallen on one side?), Arms (can you raise both arms equally or does one fall short?), Speech (is it slurred?), and Time (because, if you notice these signs, you must call 999). Calling 999 is recommended over being driven to A&E because the paramedics will be able to start treatment straight away.   They will also take you to the closest hospital equipped to deal with stroke, and this may not be the nearest one to you.

Read my article to learn more about stroke, its causes and treatments, and the steps you can take to help prevent it happening to you.

 

Yours stroke pdf 1
Yours stroke pdf 2
Yours stroke pdf 2