What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel or artery, or when a blood vessel breaks and interrupts blood flow to an and bleeding occurs into an area of the brain.

Every stroke is different. The symptoms and effects vary according to the type of stroke, the part of the brain affected and the size of the damaged area

Quick medical attention can minimise the effect of a stroke.

If you recognise that someone is having a stroke, by displaying the signs below, call 000/112 and make them as comfortable as possible, talking to them continually.
· weakness, paralysis (inability to move) or numbness of the face or limbs, particularly on one side of the body;
· vision suddenly becoming blurred or decreased, especially in one eye;
· difficulty talking or understanding speech;
· sudden difficulty swallowing;
· an unexplained fall, dizziness or loss of balance — someone suffering from stroke may resemble a drunk person;
· sudden severe headache with no known cause; and
· drowsiness, confusion or loss of consciousness

For more information, visit the National Stroke Foundation.

Find out how to recognise a stroke.

Written by Debbie McTaggart