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Stroke: Causes, symptoms and treatment By Dr. Sushma Sharma

1.What is a stroke?

A stroke is sudden brain attack , also known in common parlance as paralysis attack.

Stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds, or when there’s a blockage in the blood supply to the brain. The rupture or blockage prevents blood and oxygen from reaching the brain’s tissues.

Without oxygen, brain cells and tissue become damaged and begin to die within minutes.

  1. What are the symptoms of brain stroke?

Symptoms of a stroke show up in the body parts controlled by the damaged areas of the brain.

The sooner a person having a stroke gets care, the better their outcome is likely to be. For this reason, it’s helpful to know the signs of a stroke so you can act quickly. Stroke symptoms can include sudden onset of one or more of following

1)paralysis
2)numbness or weakness in the arm, face, and leg, especially on one side of the body

  1. Trouble speaking or understanding speech
  2. confusion
  3. vision problems, such as trouble seeing in one or both eyes with vision blackened or blurred, or double vision

6)loss of balance or coordination

7)dizziness

8)severe, sudden headache with an unknown cause.

A stroke requires immediate medical attention. If you think you or someone else is having a stroke, immediately contact nearest stroke ready hospital ( one with atleast a CT machine and a neurologist )

  1. Tell me some easy way to recognize stroke and what to do in case of a stroke.

As an aid to memory, the word FAST may be remembered as a mnemoneic to identify stroke.

F stands for face- is there any sudden asymmetry of face?

A stands for Arm – is there sudden onset weakness in one arm?

S stands for speech – is there sudden onset difficulty in speaking clearly?

T : stands for time – if the answer to above ( F, A or S) is yes, do not waste time and rush the patient to nearest stroke ready hospital.

Prompt treatment is key to prevent Stroke. In many cases, specialised treatments can be given by neurologist only in the first few hours after stroke ( first 3 to 6 hours). These treatments can potentially reverse the stroke.The sooner the treatment is begun, the better the recovery.

So, it is important to rush to nearest stroke ready hospital without wasting any time if stroke symptoms occur.

Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry when dealing with a stroke.

Remember FAST and stay safe.

Dr. Sushma Sharma

HOD & Sr. Consultant – Neurology

MBBS, MD, DM & DNB Neurology, Asian Epilepsy Society Board Certified

Metro Heart Institute with Multispecialty Faridabad