Generally defined, a stroke is a type of brain injury that takes place whenever the blood supply to the brain becomes interrupted. This is something that can happen for a few different reasons. Typically, doctors separate strokes into three different cases depending on what the specific cause is:
- Hemorrhagic: This is a type of stroke that can be caused by bleeding either in the brain or between the brain and the skull. Whenever this happens, small blood vessels located near the bleeding area begin to spasm, which results in a decreased amount of blood flow.
- Intracerebral: This is when a hemorrhagic stroke occurs within the brain itself, and is most often linked to issues such as advanced age, high blood pressure, heavy alcohol consumption, and drug use.
- Subarachnoid: This is when a stroke occurs between the brain and the skull.
This post on treatment of strokes and circulatory emergencies is for learning purposes only. To learn to manage, recognize and prevent a stroke enrol in a workplace approved first aid and / or CPR course with one of our training providers. Learn the skills to save a life today!
As we know, different areas of the human brain are responsible for different functions, including movement, sight, sensation, and more. Some of the most common symptoms of a stroke include the following:
- Headaches either with or without vomiting
- Paralysis/weakness on one side of your body
- Numbness that is sudden and/or severe anywhere on your body
- Any kind of visual disturbance, including loss of vision
- Difficulty walking
- Coordination issues
- Slurred speech/unable to speak
- Suddenly moving eyes toward one direction
- Irregular breathing
Some instances with strokes can see them accompanied by TIAs, or transient ischemic attacks. These are essentially brief episodes of symptoms that are stroke-like in nature and can last approximately 5 to 20 minutes without leaving you with any permanent brain damage.
Your doctor will generally take the time to review your medical history, as well as all of your risk factors in terms of a stroke. Some of the most common risk factors include the following:
- High blood pressure
- Various types of heart disease
- Family history
You will undergo an examination by your doctor, where he will pay close attention to both your heart and blood pressure. Additionally, he will also conduct a neurological examination in order to check for any changes to your overall brain function.
There are many steps that you can take in order to prevent yourself from suffering a stroke. These steps include controlling the following risk factors:
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- High cholesterol
- Adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking aspirin on a daily basis
If the blood supply to your brain is restored quickly enough, an individual who suffers a stroke is likely to recover with little to no problem whatsoever. Furthermore, those who suffer from thrombotic strokes can see a reduction in any potential issues thanks to clot-dissolving drug t-PA.