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Treatment of strokes

  • What is a stroke?

    A stroke is a medical emergency that requires urgent treatment. It happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off. Without blood the brain cells can be damaged or die.

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  • Who is at risk of stroke?

    A stroke can happen to anyone at any time, even children, but there are some things, like your ethnicity, lifestyle and other health conditions, that make you more at risk than others. 

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  • Signs and symptoms

    If you, or someone else, show any signs of having a stroke you need to seek immediate medical attention. The FAST test can help you spot the signs of stroke.

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  • Treatment of stroke

    A stroke is a medical emergency and if you have one you need to call 999 immediately. The quicker your stroke is diagnosed and treated, the better your recovery will be.

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  • Rehabilitation and recovery

    Rehabilitation is about overcoming and adapting to the effects of your stroke, so that you can become as independent as possible. Aids and equipment can help you do this.

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  • Stroke Resources

    This page shows various links to useful stroke related information, plus our collection of real-life 'stroke stories'. Please feel free to get in touch if you would like to contribute.

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A stroke is a medical emergency and if you have one you need to call 999 immediately.

The quicker your stroke is diagnosed and treated, the better your recovery will be.

When you arrive at hospital, you should have a brain scan as soon as possible.

This will help will help your doctors to identify what may have caused your stroke and ensure you get the right emergency treatment.

If your stroke is caused by a blood clot, you may be treated with a clot-busting drug to try to disperse the clot and return the blood supply to your brain.

This is called thrombolysis.

For most people thrombolysis needs to be given within four and a half hours of your stroke symptoms starting.

This is because the more time that passes, the less effective thrombolysis will be.

If you have a haemorrhagic stroke you may need surgery to stop the bleeding, remove blood or relieve any pressure that has built up around your brain.

There are a number of other tests that you may receive during your first few days in hospital.

Your doctors will use these tests to try to find out what caused your stroke, or to see what effects it has had. They include:

  • blood pressure tests
  • an electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • blood tests
  • swallowing tests
  • mobility assessments
  • continence assessments
  • communication and cognitive assessments
  • nutritional status and hydration checks