Our understanding of the symptoms of a stroke and the significance of intervening swiftly has risen as a result of the FAST advertising campaign (Face. Arms. Speech. Time).
Because of swift reflexes and immediate treatment, the quality of life for people who have had a stroke has dramatically improved. In rare situations, if a stroke is recognized and treated early, a person can recover with little or no residual damage.
A stroke occurs when the brain’s blood flow is disturbed, resulting in a lack of oxygen to the brain cells. Because these cells are oxygen-dependent, they are harmed and can die fast if their blood supply is disrupted. This can occur in two ways:
A blood clot or fatty deposits in the blood vessels block the blood vessels in the brain (ischemic stroke). A burst blood artery within the brain that causes blood to flow into brain tissues (Haemorrhagic Stroke). A patient’s symptoms may vary depending on the portion of the brain affected by the stroke.
A person’s body can become numb, feeble, or even paralyzed on one side. Their face may droop, and their speech may slur or jumble. Sight loss or impaired vision can also occur, leading to confusion or unsteadiness. Remember:
Face: Is there a droop to one side of the face? Compare the two sides of the person’s face while having them grin.
A: Arms: Is one arm atrophied or numb? Request an arm lift from the subject. Is one arm swaying?
S: Speech Do they have speech problems? Request a verbal repetition from the other person. Do they appropriately repeat it? Is their speech mumbled or hazy?
Time: It’s time to take action. For an ambulance, dial 999.
To identify a stroke, a brain scan is conducted. Your type of stroke—ischemic or hemorrhagic—will be revealed by an MRI or CT scan, both of which use magnetic resonance imaging. Given that the therapies vary, this is significant.
The carotid arteries in the neck, which carry blood to the brain, may also be the subject of ultrasound examinations. Blood tests will be used to measure cholesterol and glucose levels as well as blood pressure, heart function, and other factors.
A procedure known as thrombolysis may be used to dissolve the clot obstructing the artery in the case of an ischemic stroke. In order to determine if this treatment would be helpful, a thorough individualized patient assessment must be performed right away (within four and a half hours of the onset of symptoms).
Drugs may be administered to lower cholesterol and thin the blood to lower the risk of developing new blood clots. If the carotid artery is partially blocked, surgery may occasionally be required.
Many stroke victims will have long-term issues that could have an impact on both their emotional and physical health.
These may consist of:
Reduced mobility, dizziness, poor balance, fatigue;
Cognition, learning abilities, memory issues, and lack of awareness;
Depression, anxiety, and communication difficulties;
Difficulty swallowing food and/or fluids.
Rehabilitation should be customized to each patient’s needs, and this may include an emphasis on home modifications and lifestyle adjustments to promote patient independence and improve quality of life. To lower the chance of another stroke, doctors may prescribe medications, and patient support and regular evaluations can help with recovery and rehabilitation.