Make May Purple – What is a stroke?

Make May Purple – What is a stroke?

Every year, we support Make May Purple to help boost awareness of the effects of a stroke. This year will be no different. Although our minds and concerns are with the current COVID-19 pandemic, a stroke can still occur at any time to anyone.  

Now is an important time to be aware of what a stroke is and how to spot it. This month, we will be discussing how a stroke is caused and how to spot the signs, as well as share advice on how you can support someone vulnerable during this uncertain time and ways you can still fundraise for the Stroke Association.  

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, causing damage. There are three main types of stroke: 

  • Ischaemic stroke is the most common form of stoke, which is caused by a blood clot in a small vessel inside the brain or within an artery leading to the brain. 85% of strokes are due to this blockage, and it can be treated with thrombolysis, which breaks down the blood clot. This treatment needs to be given within the first 4 and half hours of the symptoms showing to have the best effort, so it’s vital to act fast and seek medical help. 
  • Haemorrhagic stroke occurs when there is bleeding in or around the brain. This can be due to different medical reasons, such as High Blood Pressure, protein builds up within blood vessels in the brain (cerebral amyloid angiopathy), an aneurysm or from blood-thinning medication.  
  • Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) is also known as a mini-stroke. This is caused by a temporary blockage which has stopped blood reaching the brain, but unlike the two above types, the blockage will dissolve and move on its own, returning to normal. The symptoms of the stroke will last shorter than other strokes, but it still needs to be treated as a medical emergency as it can be an indication there is a problem. 

The FAST Test is used to spot the signs of a stroke: 

F – Face – has their face fallen to one side? 

A – Arms – can they raise and hold their arms up? 

S – Speech – can they speak clearly? 

T – Time – call 999 

Next week, we will share more information about the FAST test to help you recognise a stroke as well as the possible effects a stroke can have one someone.  

A stroke can occur at any time, to anyone, at any age. To find out more about what a stroke is, please visit the Stroke Association website here

During this uncertain time, our care team at Heritage Healthcare Wakefield are working hard to help more vulnerable people to feel safe at home. They are taking every precaution necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you would like to find out more about how we support clients, please click here, or you can contact our team through your preferred contact method here.  

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