signs, prevention and what to do if a loved one has a stroke

Octo­ber 26, 2020, 14:10

A stroke is an acute dis­or­der of cere­bral cir­cu­la­tion, which is char­ac­ter­ized by the sud­den onset of neu­ro­log­i­cal symp­toms that per­sist for more than a day. Today, this pathol­o­gy is an acute med­ical and social prob­lem, lead­ing to dis­abil­i­ty and death of the pop­u­la­tion. What to do with a stroke? How to define it? We asked for advice Christi­na Bashukther­a­pist and doc­tor of func­tion­al diag­nos­tics.

stroke signs


Every year, on Octo­ber 29, World Health Orga­ni­za­tion cel­e­brates Stroke Aware­ness Day. A great oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn more about this con­di­tion in order to main­tain your health and the health of your loved ones for many years to come.

Doctor's advice

Kristi­na Bashuk

Accord­ing to offi­cial sta­tis­tics, the preva­lence of stroke in Ukraine aver­ages 280 cas­es per 100,000 pop­u­la­tion, which is sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er than in oth­er Euro­pean coun­tries.

The main risk fac­tors for stroke include: arte­r­i­al hyper­ten­sion, dia­betes mel­li­tus and oth­er car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases, obe­si­ty, ele­vat­ed lev­els of cho­les­terol and low-den­si­ty lipopro­teins in the blood test, seden­tary lifestyle, smok­ing and alco­hol abuse, age over 50 years.

Types of stroke

There are three main types of stroke:

  1. ischemic (about 80% of all cas­es);
  2. hem­or­rhag­ic (about 19%);
  3. venous (less than 1%).

Let’s talk about the most com­mon types. Ischemic stroke most often occurs due to block­age of the arter­ies by a throm­bus or ath­er­o­scle­rot­ic changes in blood ves­sels. By the way, in patients with mod­er­ate and severe course of the new coro­n­avirus infec­tion COVID19, the risk of throm­bo­sis increas­es. The insid­i­ous­ness of this type of stroke is that loss of con­scious­ness may not occur and clin­i­cal man­i­fes­ta­tions may not be rec­og­nized imme­di­ate­ly.

Hem­or­rhag­ic stroke occurs due to rup­ture of the ves­sel and the occur­rence of intrac­ere­bral hematoma, most often against the back­ground of high blood pres­sure.

stroke what to do


How to recognize a stroke

Symp­toms of a stroke can be very diverse:

  • headache,
  • nau­sea,
  • vom­it,
  • feel­ing numb
  • dis­ori­en­ta­tion in time and space,
  • heart­beat,
  • sweat­ing,
  • loss of con­scious­ness.

There is a mnemon­ic rule HIT. for diag­nos­ing stroke at the pre­hos­pi­tal stage.

  • W — Smile. Ask the per­son to smile. In vio­la­tion of cere­bral cir­cu­la­tion, the smile will be asym­met­ri­cal.
  • D — Move­ment. Raise both arms or both legs at the same time. One of the limbs will lag behind the oth­er.
  • A Artic­u­la­tion. Dic­tion will be impaired, speech may be slowed down or sound unusu­al.
  • R — Solu­tion. If there are vio­la­tions in one or more of the above points, a deci­sion must be made to call an ambu­lance.

Remem­ber this sim­ple rule and per­haps this knowl­edge will save some­one’s life.

Before the ambu­lance arrives, be sure to write down the time of onset of symp­toms, try to mea­sure blood pres­sure, tem­per­a­ture, blood glu­cose lev­els and do not leave a sick per­son unat­tend­ed!

stroke signs


Stroke prevention

The main meth­ods of stroke pre­ven­tion include:

  1. treat­ment of major dis­eases (arte­r­i­al hyper­ten­sion, dia­betes mel­li­tus, etc.),
  2. con­trol of blood pres­sure and bio­chem­i­cal analy­sis of blood (cho­les­terol and low den­si­ty lipopro­teins),
  3. com­plete ces­sa­tion of smok­ing;
  4. reg­u­lar phys­i­cal activ­i­ty;
  5. ratio­nal nutri­tion: the so-called Mediter­ranean diet deserves spe­cial atten­tion;
  6. antithrom­bot­ic ther­a­py for med­ical rea­sons.

Stay healthy, take care of your­self and your loved ones!

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