Stroke patient information pack
A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. This is caused either by a blockage of a blood vessel or bleeding (a burst blood vessel). 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.
If you suspect that you or someone else is having a stroke, phone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
Symptoms of a stroke
The main symptoms of stroke can be remembered with the word F.A.S.T.:
- Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.
- Arms – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm.
- Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake.
- Time – it’s time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.
Effects of a stroke
The effects of a stroke depends on how much damage has occurred and what part of the brain has been affected. Common side affects may include:
- The loss of use and altered sensation down one side of the body.
- Difficulties with communication skills including understanding and talking.
- Changes to eyesight.
- Problems carrying out everyday tasks such as problem solving or every day activities.
- Problems with swallowing.
There are some common problems which can increase the risk of having a stroke. These include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Diabetes mellitus
- Irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation)
- Heart and vascular disease
- High alcohol intake.
- Patient information pack
Hull and East Riding Stroke Information Services have produced a handbook which will help to identify personal risk factors and help individuals to reduce the risk of having a stroke through lifestyle changes or appropriate treatment. The booklet will also allow individuals, their family and health care professionals to record care following a stroke.
Download the patient information pack.
To read more about causes and treatment of strokes visit the NHS Choices site here.