How to detect and act in case of a stroke

What is stroke and what are its main causes?

Stroke is a brain attack caused by a lack of blood supply. Basically, it occurs for two reasons:

  • By a blockage of a cerebral artery, so that oxygen, sugar and other nutrients do not reach the brain cells. Eventually a stroke occurs.
  • By the rupture of an artery, which causes blood to leak into the brain. A cerebral hemorrhage occurs.

What are the warning symptoms of stroke?

The symptoms of stroke are similar, whether there is a blockage of an artery, which we call a thrombosis or embolism, or whether there is a rupture of the artery and consequently a hemorrhage.

Regardless of the cause or reason for the stroke, the symptoms are always similar and depend on the area of the brain that has been affected. The most frequent are:

  • Loss of speech or comprehension.
  • Loss of strength or sensation in half of the body.
  • Deviation of the mouth.

What are the after-effects of stroke?

Stroke is a very serious disease if not treated in time. In fact, it is the first cause of dependence in adulthood, and this is so because approximately half of the patients are severely disabled, that is, they cannot perform their daily life activities normally.

This may be because they persist with paralysis of the limbs or because there is an inability to speak. Also because they may be affected in their cognitive functions. Therefore the after-effects are serious, but the severity will depend on whether we act immediately and manage to restore cerebral blood flow.

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How to act in the event of a stroke?

The action to be taken in the face of a stroke is fundamentally established in two different scenarios. The first is acute care, which is when the patient presents symptoms of stroke and the emergency system must be called immediately to transfer the patient to a hospital prepared to administer pharmacological treatment or treatment through catheterization, which allows the arteries to be opened immediately and cerebral flow to be restored. If this is achieved in a short period of time, the patient’s chances of recovery are maximized.

The other scenario corresponds to those medications that we are going to give so that this stroke never happens again. An attempt will be made to control risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking and other less frequent ones. Above all, we will try to administer drugs that prevent thrombosis of blood coagulation, especially in those patients with cardiac arrhythmia. It is very important to detect these cardiac arrhythmias that we call atrial fibrillation because good detection and treatment will prevent strokes in the following years.