Stroke. General Information

stroke

Stroke occupies one of the leading positions among diseases representing a mortal danger to humans. The problem is that in early stages it is quite difficult to recognize this disease. A little numbness in the arm, dizziness, being tongue-tied – few people will attach importance to these symptoms. Neither the patient nor his family can even know that at this time a brain disaster is happening. Meanwhile, the person’s life often depends on competent and immediate action of those who are close by. It is therefore useful to know the causes of stroke, its symptoms and the way to act in a critical situation.

At the situation with stroke literally every minute counts. Depending on how quickly and accurately people surrounding the patient find the way around the situation, depends not only on the possibility of further recovery but first of all the person’s life. Because of a stroke, millions of people die each year. And this disease spares nobody – neither men nor women, neither old nor young people.

Risk Factors
In recent years stroke “became much younger”. Cases of the disease in people aged 25-30 years surprise no one anymore. This is facilitated by a number of factors – from inheritance to bad habits. The main risk factors for stroke include:

• Arterial hypertension
• Increased level of cholesterol in the blood
• Alcohol abuse
• Constant stress
• Smoking
• Sedentary lifestyle, obesity
• Malnutrition (excess of salty, spicy, fatty foods)

In addition, more strokes are registered in the elderly. And if under the age of 60 years, men are susceptible to this disease more than women, after 60 years, the situation changes – women suffer from strokes more often. As for the adverse outcome, the death rate from stroke is higher among men.

The mortality rate in stroke is conditioned by the fact that the people, who were near, did not attach importance to suspicious symptoms, were confused and did not call an ambulance in time. And the precious minutes were slipping away, taking with them the chances of the person to survive. The mortality rate in strokes depends directly on how quickly the qualified medical assistance was provided

Each of us is exposed to stroke risk, and at any moment someone next to you might need an emergency. And if you know how stroke manifests itself, what to do if it happens, thus you can save the life of this person.

Important!
The sooner the medical assistance will be provided in stroke, the lower is the probability of death and the risk that the person will be for a lifetime confined to a wheelchair.

What is a stroke?
A stroke is a syndrome of acute cerebrovascular accident, which leads to the development of certain neurological disorders. In accordance with the genesis strokes can be divided into ischemic and hemorrhagic. The first one is caused by the blockage of cerebral vessel by thrombus or embolus, the second one is characterized by a rupture of the vessel. In both cases circulatory failure occurs and, consequently, the loss of a certain area of the brain tissue. Cells located in the midst of disaster, are often beyond repair. However, around this “dead” area there is a zone of reversible changes – for this area actually the struggle in the treatment of the patient is unfolding. And here every minute counts: the time during which the cells can resuscitate in the zone of reversible changes is only three hours after the stroke. It is essential to keep within this so-called “therapeutic window” to minimize the affected area.

How to recognize the symptoms of stroke
Stroke symptoms in most cases occur already in the first minutes of the disease. And everyone can recognize them. During the stroke the brain cells, deprived of normal blood supply, begin to die, that may manifest itself by the following symptoms:

• Sharp headache
• Severe dizziness, incoordination
• Weakness, numbness of the muscles on one side of the body
• Speech problems (retardation, smudging, complete inability to pronounce sounds)
• Blackouts, a sense of the blurred image, double objects, reduction of vision
• Confusion or loss of consciousness (usually short-time)
• Disorientation (confusion in the dates, the inability to determine location, the lack of in-touch capability, a person cannot recognize the loved ones)
• Hallucinations

Do not ignore the alarming symptoms, even if they were short-term. At the slightest suspicion of a stroke, for example, if a person stumbled several times for no reason, or just for a few seconds lost consciousness, use the rule of SSR:

• S – smile
Ask the person to smile. During the stroke muscle paralysis or paresis occurs usually on one side of the body, resulting in the curved smile – on the affected side the mouth will be downward-sloping.

• S – speak
Try to speak to the stroke victim, asking him to say any simple phrase, such as “It is raining outside.” During a stroke the speech is usually disturbed, it becomes incoherent or hindered.

• R – raise the arms
Ask the stroke victim to raise both arms up simultaneously. During the stroke one arm will fall or go sideways.

If doubts remain, ask the person to put out tongue. During a stroke it usually sinks down to one side. If the afflicted person has at least one symptom of a stroke – immediately call an ambulance! At the same time as accurately as possible, list all of the symptoms. Even if the signs of a stroke were short-term, and the afflicted person recovered quickly, it is important to convince him to seek medical help.

One should know that frivolous at first glance symptoms of a stroke almost in 100% of cases are indicative of serious brain dysfunctions. And this, in turn, can cause serious consequences that can chain the afflicted person to a bed or wheelchair, and even lead to death.

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