A stroke is a medical emergency that requires a rapid medical response and transport to a hospital or a dedicated stroke centre. It is estimated that one in four people worldwide who are over the age of twenty-five will suffer a stroke in their lifetime. There are two distinct types of stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts and causes internal bleeding in this area. Ischemic strokes occur when there is a blockage in one of the blood vessels in the brain. This results in a lack of oxygen being delivered to this area and the surrounding tissue can then die. This article explains three key events that occur when a patient suffers a stroke. It is important to understand that time is a key element in improved survival outcomes for stroke patients and early recognition and treatment of the condition are of vital importance.
Signs of a Stroke
A person who experiences a stroke may exhibit several warning signs that can be easily recognized. They may suddenly experience difficulties in speaking and their speech may become slurred. They may also exhibit signs of being increasingly confused. This is a direct result of a blockage or bleeding affecting the language centres in the brain. In addition, the patient may lose power in one side of their body. This can lead to them being unable to lift or move one of their arms effectively. Another common sign of stroke is that one side of the person’s face may lose muscle power and may look distorted when compared to the other side. Severe headaches are often a symptom of the onset of a stroke and some stroke patients may report a metallic taste in their mouths or difficulties with swallowing. Medical professionals often use the FAST test as a method to identify stroke patients and confirm that a stroke has taken place.
Rapid Transport to the Hospital
It is of paramount importance that a person exhibiting signs of a stroke receives an emergency medical response. Put simply, the faster the patient can be taken to a hospital or a dedicated stroke treatment centre, the better their chances are of surviving and making a full recovery. If you notice signs of a stroke in a relative or a public setting, it is vital to immediately call the emergency services and inform them that you suspect the person has suffered a stroke. An emergency ambulance will be dispatched, and paramedics will rapidly transport the patient to an emergency treatment centre.
Treatment and Recovery
If the stroke is caused by a blockage in the blood vessels to the brain, medical professionals may administer clot-busting drugs that remove the blockage from the vessel and can allow normal blood flow to the brain to resume. Once a person is stabilized from the effects of a stroke, they may then be suitable for a range of rehabilitation therapies that are designed to aid their recovery. Speech therapy and physiotherapy are often prescribed for stroke patients to help them regain muscle functioning and improve their language abilities. Many stroke patients report that they have difficulties swallowing because of the stroke. This is known as dysphagia and can be treated with certain products that are produced by companies, such as Simply Thick organization. Gel-based products can be used to thicken beverages or pureed meals. This can make food and drink products far easier to swallow. Such products are highly effective in the management of people with dysphagia.