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BRAIN ATTACK:

Stroke: Types, Symptoms & Emergency

By Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal in Emergency & Trauma

May 23 , 2022 | 2 min read

1

A Stroke is called a Brain Attack in layman’s terms. The word “Stroke” says it all – it just happens suddenly.


Types of Stroke

There are two types of Stroke, depending on their cause. It can be due to bleeding (Haemorrhagic) or clot (Ischemic).


  1. Ischemic Stroke- It is the most common form of Stroke where blood clots form/get lodged in the blood vessels supplying the brain. This leads to a reduced blood supply and reduced oxygen levels in that part of the brain. This will cause symptoms like paralysis. The patient would require a quick CT scan to rule out a bleed and then initiate intravenous thrombolysis and, if needed Mechanical Thrombectomy.

  2. Haemorrhagic Stroke- It is caused due to leakage or rupture of a blood vessel in the brain. It may be caused due to high blood pressure or aneurysms (bulging of blood vessels)


A STROKE IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. SEEK MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY.


Many patients and families do not take stroke symptoms seriously. They wait for 2-3 days thinking the symptoms would reverse. Due to this delay, the patient may remain paralysed for life.


Doctors only have 3-4.5 hours to initiate life-saving treatment from the onset of a stroke. Earlier the Better!!


Rush to the Emergency department of the nearest Stroke Ready Centre if you or your loved ones develop the following symptoms 


  1. Weakness or difficulty in moving any limb – The patient might suddenly develop weakness in one of the arms or legs. If you ask the person to hold both the arms up slowly, one arm will start dropping. This is known as Arm Drift, and the patient should be rushed to the hospital. The patient may also be unable to walk due to weakness of one of the legs.
  2. Any facial deviation towards one side – When asked to smile, the patient’s face will drop to one side. You may also notice water or saliva drooping from one side of the face. The patient may also feel numbness on one side of the face.
  3. Difficulty speaking or inability to speak – The patient may suddenly start talking in a confused manner. The speech may be slurred or nonsensical. Sometimes the patient is just not able to speak. They may also not be able to understand what you are saying and follow commands.
  4. Sudden dizziness or confusion – Patients may suddenly feel very dizzy, fall, or have visual disturbances. They may have blurred vision, reduced vision, and inability to stand up due to severe dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.

These are all signs of a stroke, and the patient should be rushed to the nearest hospital. Remember, time is crucial. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death across the world. Therefore, in case of a stroke, prompt recognition of early symptoms, timely arrival to the hospital, and quick initiation of treatment are of utmost importance to save lives.


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