Strokes

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  • STROKE
    • WHAT IS IT?
      • Cerebrovascular accident
      • Blood supply has been cut off to a area of the brain
        • Causes cell damage or death
      • Severity depends on location of attack and speed of medical attention
    • ISCHAEMIC
      • Blockage in an artery preventing blood reaching a specific area of the brain
      • Blockage is usually a fatty deposit called a plaque - atherosclerosis
      • Can be an effect of smoking, high BP, obesity, cholesterol, high alcohol consumption or diabetes
      • Atrial fibrillation - can cause blood clots to lodge in the brain
      • Can be caused by heart disease e.g. cardiomyopathy & pericarditis - caffeine, hyperthyroidism, alcohol
    • HAEMORRHAGIC
      • Blood vessel bursts and blood leaks into brain
      • Main case is high blood pressure
      • Overweight, excessive alcohol, smoking, stress, lack of exercise
    • SIGNS / SYMPTOMS
      • Same for both types
      • Signs differ due to affected part of brain
      • Face may have dropped on one side
        • Drooping of the eyes or mouth
      • Weak/numb on one side of body
        • May not be able to lift one arm or both
      • Speech may be slurred or garbled
      • Sudden loss of vision
      • Difficulty swallowing
      • Sudden and severe headache
      • Problems with balance
    • RISK FACTORS
      • Being over 65
      • Family history
      • South Asian, African and Caribbean
      • If you have had a TIA or a heart attack
        • Trans ischaemic attack - mini stroke - warning
    • DIAGNOSIS
      • Brain scans - CT or MRI
      • Physical tests
      • Swallow test
      • If signs are obvious, scans are still needed to find out type of stroke and where it's hit
    • CARE PATHWAY
      • Rapid response to 999
      • Prompt transfer to hospital
      • Urgent brain scan
      • Access to a stroke unit
      • Early assessment by multidisciplinary team
      • Specialist rehabilitation
      • Planned transfer from hospital
    • ICHAEMIC TREATMENT
      • Clot busting medication to dissolve blood clot
      • Needs to be started within 4 hours of having stroke to work
      • Aspirin - reduce stickiness if platelets reducing changes of more clots
      • Anti-coagulants to prevent blood clots forming
      • Blood pressure medication
      • Stains to reduce cholesterol
    • HAEMORRHAGIC TREATMENT
      • Emergency surgery to remove blood from pain and repair damaged blood vessels
      • Induced coma to control swelling in brain
      • Medication to lower blood pressure

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