Information from video below
Edited by Barbara Gabogrecan
The good news is that around two thirds of stroke victims do make a degree of recovery, but the process is long and can be very frustrating. The hardest thing for the stroke victim and the caregivers to cope with is the emotional impact on their lives.
The brain controls everything we do. For the brain to work properly it needs a constant supply of blood. If this supply is stopped, even for a very short period of time, part of the brain will be damaged; this is called a stroke. There are two types of strokes; one is caused by a blockage of the blood vessel, the other is caused by a burst blood vessel.
A ‘CT’ Scan allows the doctors to see just what part of the brain has been damaged by the stroke, then a number of specialists work together as a team to help the patient recover. These specialists include doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists and dieticians. Hippocrates (a classical Greek physician) first diagnosed sudden paralysis – which would have been caused by a stroke.
A stroke can occur at any time to folk of any age. There has even been a case of a baby in the womb suffering from a stroke. In fact, one person every five minutes suffers from a stroke in England. The physical impairments can be quite varied, from mobility, speech, reading and writing, concentration, swallowing etc. There is a real problem of stroke victims suffering from depression as they work towards recovery.
The caregivers are usually the loved ones and it can become very difficult for them to look after those recovering from a stroke. In my opinion, the caregivers are the ‘forgotten generation’ – all efforts tend to concentrate on the sufferer. Caregivers often feel that they have lost a loved one e.g. husband or wife and have simply become a nurse. It takes courage and great determination from both the sufferer and the caregivers, for a stroke victim to recover.
It is very important that the patient receives assistance very quickly, as this can diminish the problems they will face. I know a woman who (when eventually she saw a doctor) it was estimated, had suffered over 200 mini strokes. She lived on her own and was an alcoholic, which delayed the diagnosis. Unfortunately it was too late to save her and she deteriorated quickly.
Tips and Hints
Be aware of the FAST method of recognition of a stroke.
F – does the face show any drooping;
A – arms – can they lift both arms above their head;
S – speech, is it impaired or slurry;
T – time is very important
The Stroke Foundation promotes the FAST message – you can find much more information on strokes at http://strokefoundation.com.au/
Tips and Hints
As soon as you are able, either you or your caregiver should contact an appropriate association, like the Stroke Foundation of Australia. They will assist you in every way that they can and this additional support can be very important to helping with your recovery. They will also advise on how to prevent future strokes.
This video shows how hospitals in England are set up to handle stroke victims. There is some very useful information shared.