A stroke is a medical emergency that can be fatal. The sooner you start treatment, the better your chances of preventing more damage. Every second is crucial.

The brain is supplied with oxygen and nutrients via a blood artery. A stroke happens when a blood artery is blocked by a clot or any other type of rupture. When this happens, a portion of the brain cannot acquire the oxygen it requires from the blood, and the blood vessels and brain cells die as a result.

Women are more likely than males to experience a stroke throughout their lifetime. While some stroke symptoms are the same in men and women, women are more likely to experience them.

THE WARNING SIGNS

Nausea, hallucination, pain, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fainting or losing consciousness, seizures, confusion, disorientation, or lack of responsiveness, and rapid behavioural changes, notably increased agitation, are all indications of stroke that occur more frequently in women.

Over 100,000 people have strokes in the United Kingdom each year. Stroke is caused by a combination of factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and diabetes. At least one of these illnesses or habits affects one out of every three adults.

Every five minutes, someone in the United Kingdom has a stroke. (Stroke Assoc. 2020) Ischemic strokes account for roughly 87 per cent of all strokes. Stroke is one of the most common causes of long-term impairment. These are ominous figures.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF STROKE?

An ischemic stroke is caused by a blood clot restricting the flow of blood to the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a blood vessel rupturing and blocking the blood supply to the brain. TIA (transient ischemic attack), sometimes known as a mini-stroke, is a brief clot.

To remember warning symptoms in the event of a suspected stroke, utilise the acronym FAST.

Face. When the casualty tries to smile, does their face sag on one side?

Arms. When the person tries to raise both arms, is one arm lower than the other? Can they raise both arms above their head and hold them there?

Speech. Is it possible for the person to repeat a simple sentence? Is their speech slurred or difficult to comprehend?

Time. Every minute matters during a stroke. Call 999 if you see any of these indicators.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF SOMEONE IS EXPERIENCING A STROKE?

It’s critical to know what to do if someone experiences a stroke. It has the potential to make a major impact on the patient’s chances of survival or recovery.

REMAIN CALM AFTER CALLING 999. 

Ascertain that the immediate environment is safe and that no impending threat exists, such as from moving vehicles. Speak with the individual. Inquire about their names and other details.

If the person is unable to speak, ask them to respond to questions by squeezing your hand. If the person does not answer, it is most likely that they are unconscious.

IF THE PERSON IS AWARE, PLACE THEM IN A COMFORTABLE POSITION.

They should ideally be lying on their side, with their head and shoulders slightly lifted and supported by a cushion or an article of clothing. After that, make an effort not to move them.

Tight clothing, such as buttoned-up shirt collars or scarves, should be loosened.

Use a blanket or coat to keep them warm if they are cold.

Make sure their airway is unobstructed. Place the person on their side in the recovery position if there are items or substances in the mouth that may be obstructing breathing, such as vomit.

  • Reassure the individual. Inform them that assistance is on the way.
  • Don’t feed them or offer them any liquids.

Take note of the person’s symptoms and keep an eye out for any changes in their condition. It is critical to provide as much information about the situation to the emergency services as possible.

Try to recall when the symptoms first appeared; if feasible, look at the clock. When you’re in a stressful position, it’s difficult to tell how much time has passed.

IF THE Individual IS UNCONSCIOUS: Place the person in the recovery position if they are unconscious. Keep an eye on their breathing and airway.

The following are the steps to take:

  • Raise the person’s chin and tilt their head backwards slightly.
  • Examine their chest to see if it is moving.
  • Listen for sounds of breathing.
  • Try to feel their breath by placing a cheek over their mouth.
  • Start CPR if there are no signs of breathing (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)

Chest compressions are the only CPR technique currently advisable for untrained individuals. If you don’t know how to do it, 999 will talk you through the process – it is important to remain calm.

If you’re with someone who you think is having a stroke, keep an eye on them while you wait for help.

RECOVERY FROM A STROKE

The stroke recovery process differs after first aid and treatment. It depends on a variety of things, including how quickly the person gets treatment and whether or not they have any other medical concerns.

Our courses prepare you for situations in life that catch you off guard. Life is filled with events that could require first aid training. Be as prepared as you possibly can with our first aid courses Belfast and Northern Ireland wide.