A stroke is when the blood supply stops and parts of it die.
There are two types of stroke:
- Ischemic stroke – is caused by a lack of blood flow in the cerebral vessel and subsequent damage to the brain in the mechanism of hypoxia, lack of glucose supply and failure to receive metabolic products.
- Haemorrhagic stroke (also known as haemorrhage) – occurs when an artery in the brain ruptures. Hemorrhagic strokes, in which blood flows beyond the blood vessel directly into the brain, are divided into intracerebral hemorrhages (when the vessel inside the brain is damaged) and subarachnoid hemorrhages (the damaged vessel is on the surface of the brain, and blood accumulates between the brain and the surrounding dura) spider)
INTERESTING FACT: The most common cause of intracerebral haemorrhage is long-term, poorly treated arterial hypertension causing widening of small arteries, forming the so-called micro aneurysms. Subarachnoid haemorrhages usually occur as a result of rupture of a larger aneurysm or hemangioma, resulting from a defect in the congenital vessel wall.
Symptoms of a stroke
Different symptoms result depending on what part of the brain damage occurs. Blockage of an artery that supplies blood to a small area most often causes minor symptoms. However, if there are structures important for life in this area (e.g. blood circulation or respiration centers), the consequences of ischemia can be very serious. The most common symptoms of stroke include:
Weakness – otherwise known as paresis of the lower and / or upper limbs. With this kind of weakness, the patient has a problem with moving the limb.
Visual disturbance – may occur as a restriction of a given field of vision, double vision and in severe cases, loss of vision in one eye.
Sudden, sharp headache – occurs suddenly, most often at the time of a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Disorders – difficulty in speech, problems with understanding the patient, loss of consciousness, feeling sleepy.
Loss of consciousness – the patient does not respond to any voice commands or touch.
Balance and motor coordination disorders – the patient has a problem and difficulty moving, he often drops an object, unknowingly walks or stumbles.
Weakening of the muscles of the throat and tongue – speech becomes incomprehensible, slurred. The patient has a problem with swallowing his own saliva.
Facial muscle weakness – the muscles are weakened which can result in a curved mouth.
Each of the symptoms cannot be ignored due to the incredible threat to the health and even life of the patient. When symptoms that may suggest a stroke occur, you need to react as quickly as possible and be hospitalized correctly.
Why is Rapid Stroke Response Important?
Rapid action in any disease is very important, in a stroke it is so important because brain nerve cells are sensitive to hypoxia and their death begins within 4 minutes of ischemia.
A good solution to remember the symptoms of a stroke in order to react quickly and help the person is to use the acronym:
The hand is down
The causes of stroke
Cerebral embolism is one of the most common causes of stroke. A cerebral embolism is a blockage of blood flow in a vessel by a clot formed in the heart, which goes with the blood to the vessels of the brain. A thrombus forms during atrial fibrillation, on the surface of malfunctioning heart valves, and during a heart attack.
TIA – There may also be a spontaneous restoration of the artery before the ischemic brain cells are irreversibly destroyed, which is then a transient ischemic attack.
Diagnosing a stroke
The basis in this case is collecting information from the patient himself or from witnesses of the event. Once all the information is obtained, a neurological examination should be performed to diagnose a stroke. As an additional examination, the doctor may check blood pressure and heart function.
Recommendations when diagnosing a stroke may also include performing a detailed morphology and imaging tests such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, which is able to show in which area the brain was damaged by a stroke.
Treatment of stroke
If the patient receives immediate help and hospitalization is started, doctors are able to prevent long-term disability and save the patient’s life. Three specific forms of treatment for stroke have been adopted:
Treatment – embolization, during which a catheter is inserted into the damaged vessel / aneurysm, through which special adhesives, gelatin sponges, spirals or balloons are applied to close the damaged vessel.
Drugs – if you have had an ischemic stroke, thrombolytic drugs are used to dissolve the clot and restore blood flow.
Rehabilitation – should start as soon as possible (in the first days after the onset of a stroke). Rehabilitation includes improvement of motor activities, speech therapists, psychologist care.
Complications after a stroke
The list of the most common complications is very long, but it is a good example that we cannot underestimate the disease. Here are a few of them:
Increase in intracranial pressure, resulting from swelling of the brain that can damage the brainstem and even reduce blood flow to the brain
Orthopedic complications, which are mainly caused by the lack of, or too late, rehabilitation, which is necessary. There may be pain in the lumbosacral region or joint contractures.
Complications with the circulatory system, which may lead to cardiac arrhythmias.
Emotional disturbance and in some cases depression
Pressure ulcers, which are damage to the skin and the underlying tissues and bones that occur during long periods of bed rest.
Deep vein thrombosis
Metabolic disorders with large fluctuations in glucose
The site where a stroke occurs can have a huge impact on whether or not a given patient is at risk of dying or disability. Unfortunately, despite everything, the statistics show that about 1/3 of stroke patients die despite hospitalization.
How to prevent?
Every year the statistics of patients who have suffered a stroke are increasing. The most important thing to prevent is a healthy lifestyle. It is also possible:
Grow spore regularly, find about 3 hours per week
Avoid smoking or quit smoking
Check blood pressure regularly. If the home measurements are over 135 mmHg for systolic blood pressure and 85 mmHg for diastolic blood pressure, see your doctor. If you have hypertension, follow your doctor’s instructions and take the prescribed medications regularly.
Take care of the correct body weight
Limit the fats you eat, focus on vegetables and unprocessed foods