A stroke is a severe life-threatening condition when the blood supply to the brain stops. The condition is a medical emergency and requires urgent, essential treatments. The sooner the person receives treatments, the less damage is likely. If you feel like you or someone near you is having a stroke, call immediately for an ambulance.
FAST demonstrates the primary symptoms of a stroke.
- Face: There will be a one-side face paralysis, where the person might not be able to smile
- Arms: The person will not be able to move or lift both arms and keep them there for some time since the weakness or numbness
- Speech: They will have a slurred or garbled speech, or the person will not be able to talk despite being awake; and also might have problems understanding others.
- Time: If you see any symptoms in someone, it’s time for you to call for an ambulance.
Like all organs, the brain also requires oxygen and nutrients from proper blood function. When the blood supply stops, brain cells start to die, which leads to disability, brain injury, or possibly death. The primary two causes of strokes are:
- Hemorrhagic: Where the weak blood vessel supply to the brain burst
- Ischaemic: Where the blood supply stops due to a blood clot
Also, a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) temporarily interrupts the brain’s blood supply, leading to a mini-stroke that lasts for a few minutes or persists for up to 24 hours. A TIA requires immediate treatment since they are often a warning for a full stroke in the future.
Certain other conditions can also increase the risks of stroke; those include:
The treatments depend on the stroke’s type, including the affected area of the brain and the reason behind it. Medications are usual treatments for a stroke that includes medicine to dissolve or prevent blood clots, decrease blood pressure, and reduce high cholesterol.
Certain cases require procedures to remove the blood clots and surgery to treat brain swelling and reduce risks of further bleeding.
Consult for medical advice as soon as you experience any of the symptoms.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022