A cerebrovascular accident, also known as a stroke or an ictus, requires immediate attention; the time between the onset of the first symptoms and that of receiving medical attention should not be longer than four hours.
Every minute counts when it comes to avoiding the worst consequences or making the difference between life and death
Strokes can occur at any age, but are more frequently suffered by people who are over 30 and men have a higher probability of suffering a stroke than women.
It is good for all of us to have the ability to recognize the signs of a stroke, whether to aid a family member or friend that is experiencing this situation or to detect one in ourselves and quickly call an ambulance.
What are the warning signs?
Pay attention to the following symptoms. Even if they disappear, you should still see a physician to examine you.
- If you feel weakness or numbness on one side of the face or on one side of the body.
- If you suddenly have difficulty talking or swallowing.
- A sudden, intense headache without apparent cause.
- Loss of balance, coordination, double vision, or dizziness.
- Difficulty seeing in one or both eyes.
- General confusion.
What is the cause of a cerebrovascular accident?
It is caused by the obstruction or rupturing of an artery in the brain.
There are two types:
- Ischemic stroke: is produced by a blockage of some artery so the blood supply is blocked from part of the brain.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: is produced by the rupturing of a brain artery, causing hemorrhaging and damages the area where the bleeding occurs.
How do we prevent it?
Usually, this illness is accompanied by ailments such as arteriosclerosis or high blood pressure.
For that reason, we should control these situations as well as avoiding bad habits.
- Don’t smoke.
- Control your blood pressure.
- Maintain a healthy diet.
- Do physical activity regularly.
- Control your cholesterol levels.
- Avoid being overweight.
- Regulate your blood sugar levels.
Performing routine checks to be aware of any changes in your circulatory system, more so if they affect your corotid arteries that are responsible for carrying blood and therefore oxygen to the brain.
Recuperation after suffering a stroke depends of course as has already been mentioned on immediate attention to the patient, on the injuries it has produced in the brain and the resulting effects, and on the immediacy of neurological rehabilitation process.
The body that has suffered a stroke acts as if it has lost its memory, so it is necessary to reteach it many movements that it had already learned and mastered.
Pyschological support is equally necessary for the patient as it is for the family. The changes are significant in the family of a patient with symptoms of a stroke: helplessness, depression, daily exhaustion, etc.
The person who is affected goes from being active, perhaps with a job, performing his activities in an independent manner to all of a sudden finding himself completely or partially dependent on others.
Nothing is certain in the recovery; the progress may be slow. Each person’s body responds differently to the stimuli. A younger patient usually has a better outcome with regards to recovery.
In an older person, it is intended that they achieve the best level of independence possible to be able to do the activities done prior to the stroke. The concerns of the patient should be heard and the rehabilitation treatment should focus on his particular needs.
Apart from being one of the conditions that causes death in thousands of people a year, it also causes many disabilities in those who suffer from it.
We urge anyone who has suffered from previous problems with circulation to pay close attention to the ways to prevent this condition. Life is too precious a treasure to neglect it by excesses that affect our health sooner or later, or by not addressing pre-existing conditions with proper medical attention.