Stroke

What is it?

Stroke is when the blood supply to (a part of) the brain is cut off/interrupted/blocked

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Symptoms

Face:

  • Severe/sudden headache with neck stiffness
  •  face may have dropped on one side 
  • he may be unable to smile (either fully or on one side) 
  • Sudden loss of vision/blurred vision

Arms:

  • may be unable to lift one / both arms and keep them there 

Speech:

  • slurred 
  •  unable to talk 

Other symptoms:

  • problems with coordination and balance/movement 
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Causes

  • a blood clot forms in a main artery to the brain / blood clot stops the flow of blood to the brain 
  • a blood clot / air bubble / fat globule forms in a blood vessel and is carried to the brain 
  • blockage in the tiny blood vessels inside the brain 
  • blood vessel bursts inside the brain 
  •  blood vessel on the surface of the brain bleeding into the area between the brain and the skull 
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Treatments

  • MRI / CT scan 
  • swallowing screening 
  •  ‘clot busting’ medicine 
  • aspirin 
  • ACE inhibitors 
  •  anticoagulant medicine 
  •  statins
  • carotid endarterectomy surgery 
  • craniotomy 
  • being placed on a ventilator 
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Physical factors

On the indivdual

  • may experience fatigue 
  • weakness and/or paralysis
  •  stiff muscles 
  •  increased sensations 
  •  difficulties with walking
  • vision problems
  • difficulties with daily living tasks

On the family 

  • Feeling tired- after looking after them 
  • Joint pains from lifting them up because of the loss of mobility
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Intellectual Impact

On the indivdual 

  • problems with (short term) memory
  • memory may appear generally slower
  • find it hard to focus on tasks / difficulty with attention
  • inability to filter out background noise
  • problems with identifying what needs ‘attending to’
  • problems with perception 

On the family 

  • Treating them like an adult- even though their behaviour have changed 
  • Think you lost the person who had a stroke 
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Emotional Impact

On the indivdual 

  • may suffer from depression
  • may be social excluded 

On the family 

  • shocked 
  • confused 
  • helplessness 
  • grief 
  • guilt
  • anger 
  • depression 
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Social impacts

On the indivdual 

  • difficulties communicating with others
  • social isolation as a result of difficulties with communication/getting out of the house

On the family

  • difficult to maintain friendships 
  • children might have to look after parents 
  • family role changes 
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Financial impact

On the indivdual

  • extended period of time out of work
  • reliance on state benefits

On the family

  • might have to give up work to help look after the person who had a stroke
  • this can lead to them going on sick pay or relying on benefits  
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