August 22

Stroke- what you need to know

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A man who just had stroke

Stroke is defined as the failure of the brain to effectively send messages to some other parts of the body. It is caused by injury to some blood vessels supplying the brain. This injury can arise from either blockage of an artery leading to brain cell death or when an artery bursts. It causes more Disability and death worldwide. The observance of stroke in an individual is always sudden

The following symptoms may arise from stroke:

Sudden Muscular deficit: it can be difficulty in walking, instability, problems with coordination, muscles stiffness, hyperactive reflexes, or paralysis of one side of the body.

Sudden Visual affectation: it can lead to blurred vision, double vision, sudden vision loss in one eye. it is always on the same side with the weak or paralyzed arms and legs

Speech impairment: there may be difficulty in speaking, slurred speech, or loss of speech or inability to pronounce words clearly.

General body weakness: it may be fatigue, light-headedness, or vertigo

Other common symptoms include:

Numbness or weakness in the limbs, pins and needles or reduced sensation of touch. facial muscle weakness or numbness, difficulty in swallowing may also result from it. Stroke can also cause One-sided headache, inability to understand, mental confusion, or nystagmus.

Acting F.A.S.T. Is an acronym in Stroke first aid

According to CDC, these are the first steps when you suspect a stroke.

Acting F.A.S.T. can help stroke patients get the treatments they desperately need. Stroke recognized and diagnosed within 3 hours of the first symptoms recovers best. Stroke patients may not be eligible for these if they don’t arrive at the hospital in time.

If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do the following simple test:

F—Face: Tell the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A-Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S—Speech: Tell the person to repeat a simple phrase. does he have slurred or strange speech?

T—Time: If you see any of these signs, call emergency right away.

Note the time when any symptoms first appear. This information helps health care providers determine the best treatment for each person. Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room.

Diagnosis

Your emergency medical team will diagnose a stroke on the basis of several factors, including your symptoms, medical history, a physical exam, and diagnostic tests.

The following brain and heart tests may be used to help diagnose a stroke.

  • Computed tomography (CT) scan A brain CT scan uses X-rays to create images of your brain.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) A brain MRI uses magnets and radio waves to create images of your brain.
  • Carotid ultrasound or carotid angiography These show the insides of the arteries that supply blood to the brain.
  • Echocardiogram This test uses sound waves to create images of your heart, and may detect the source of blood clots that have traveled from your heart to your brain.

Treatment and Management

Treatment of stroke is dependent on the type. They are of 3 types:

  • Ischemic type which is as a result of blood vessels getting blocked. This leads to nutrients not reaching the affected part of the brain. The treatment of this type involves using blood thinners and other antihypertensive drugs
  • Hemorrhagic type which is as a result of too much pressure on the blood vessels, making it to burst. Treatments for a hemorrhagic include controlling blood pressure and stopping any medications that could increase bleeding, including warfarin and aspirin
  • Transient Ischemic Attack its like ischemic type but does not last for more than 1day.

The drug serves the following functions

  • To prevent further damage to the other parts of the brain that is not affected
  • To control blood pressure or other factors that caused it

However, the affected part of the brain that had lost its functions will not recover simply by using drug. Hence the need for rehabilitation and management. That is the reason why physiotherapy is integral to the management of stroke.

Do you know anyone that is already having a stroke who is in need of physiotherapy? SPEAK with us NOW


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  1. thanks kabworld, for this great page,,,,if i may ask at what age may someone start to develop stroke symptoms???

    1. One does not develop stroke symptoms, you only watch out for signs that can lead to stroke. stroke is of sudden onset but the signs that lead to stroke can be noted and prevented. once someone is from 30yrs upward you are expected to check your blood pressure, sugar level and cholesterol level regularly

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