International Stroke Day, 29th October 2019

Strokes take place when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off or when a blood vessel supplying the brain bursts. Damage to the person can be significantly reduced if they are treated soon after the stroke. The longer it takes to receive medical attention, the more damage there is likely to be as a repercussion.

 

Signs and symptoms

In order to remember the main symptoms of a stroke, the anagram FAST can be used:

  • Face, it may have dropped on one side not allowing the person to smile or move their eye
  • Arms, their arms may be out of use due to weakness and numbness
  • Speech, it may be slurred or garbled, or even not being able to talk
  • Time, dial 999 if a person has these symptoms

 

Other symptoms can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Balance and coordination issues
  • Finding it hard to swallow
  • Loss of or blurring vision
  • Migraine
  • Loss of consciousness

 

Conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atrial fibrillation and diabetes can make the risk of having a stroke significantly higher.

 

Treatment

Like with many incidents, the type of treatment received will depend on the type of stroke that has occurred. Medication can be prescribed to prevent and dissolve the blood clots, whilst reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

 

Surgery can sometimes be required to remove the blood clots, tend to any brain swelling and try and reduce continued bleeding.

  

Preventative care

 Ways to decrease the risk of having a stroke can include:

  • Following a healthy diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Partaking from smoking
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation
  • Medication to help lower blood pressure
  • Statins to lower cholesterol levels
  • Anticoagulants or antiplatelets to reduce risk of blood clots

  

Diagnosis

On arrival at hospital tests can be done to help decide whether or not the person has had a stroke. For example, blood tests, pulse check and measuring blood pressure.

Brain scans can also be undertaken to see if the stroke has been caused by a blocked artery or a burst blood vessel. It can show the severity of the stroke and also which part of the brain has been affected.

 

Recovery

After having a stroke, if the person has survived, there are sometimes long-term issues which have been caused from injury to their brain. Some may need rehabilitation temporarily, whereas others may need life-long care.

Recovery will usually start whilst the person is still in hospital, and then will continue at home or at a clinic.

 

Many different specialists will help with the rehabilitation process:

  • Physiotherapists
  • Psychologists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech therapists
  • Specialist nurses and doctors

 

To learn about life-saving skills attending a First Aid course is what you need to do. We hold regular First Aid At Work courses in central Cardiff. There are two levels of courses available depending on the level of risk in your workplace. Here are the links to find out the dates of upcoming courses and to book places online:

Alternatively, many employers prefer First Aid training to be carried out at their own workplace so we can provide a quote for us to come to you. 

Here's how to get in touch and find out more information:

 

St David’s First Aid Training – keeping you safe and legal.