A stroke is an emergency. It is life threatening and warrants immediate attention.
Why should you listen to me?
I am a consultant stroke doctor who works in a comprehensive stroke centre dedicated to all things stroke.
My main business is dealing with emergency stroke patients.
So let’s talk about stroke.
There are two main types, both of which warrant emergency treatment.
The main type ,accounting for 85% of strokes are Ischaemic strokes related to a blockage of a major blood vessel to the brain( blood clot).
The other main type of stroke is a haemorrhage these are what are known commonly as ” brain bleeds”.
This article goes into the main type of stroke related to blood clots.
Why the need for immediate action ?
If a stroke related to a blood clot is caught within 4.5 hours it is eligible for a treatment known as thrombolysis.
This is a medicine given via a drip into a vein in the arm.
This is aimed at busting the clot up and letting the blood flow back into the brain.
Unfortunately this treatment does not work after 4.5 hours.
There is a proviso however, the faster you get your loved one into hospital the greater the chance they will get better with treatment.
Even within the 4.5 hours , we as stroke physicians know that the faster you get a patient into hospital the better the chance of breaking the clot and therefore the greater the chance of recovery.
So up-to 3 hours , in 10 people make a good recovery, however between 3 hours to 4.5 hours that number doubles to 1 in 20 people making a good recovery.
So the faster you act the better the chance for your loved one’s recovery
There is a newer treatment available called thrombectomy- this helps directly target the clot, it involves directly putting a device in via a catheter in your arm – that goes into your major blood vessel that supplies your brain.
In this blood vessel the via various different devices they directly work to either pull the clot out or provide a way of bypassing the clot to help improve the flow of blood to the brain.
This works for strokes caused by large clots in big blood vessels in your brain ;this is around 40 % of the Ischaemic strokes.
It is not possible for the other strokes caused by blockages in small vessels in the brain .
In these types of strokes thrombolysis via a drip is still the best option.
Thrombectomy is currently licensed up to 6 hours and has a higher chance of success than thrombolysis.
It isn’t widely available to everyone in the world but is provided in the major cities of the developed world.
How do you spot the signs of stroke to help your loved one?
The above is the FAST test.
- Face– Is the face slumped to one side, can they smile
- Arms- Ask them to lift both arms, can they keep them up
- Speech Is it slurred?
- Time- to call your emergency provider
If there is a problem with one of the above- call your local ambulance provider as an emergency.
Time is critical when you spot the signs of a stroke in your loved one.
The faster you act the better the chance of their recovery
Thanks for stopping by
If you have any further questions on how you can save lives ,please leave it in the comments section