Strokes occur when blood supply to a certain part of the brain is interrupted. The brain cells of the region are then deprived of oxygen and nutrients. Consequently, the brain cells in the periphery of the blockage die, in a matter of minutes only.
Due to stroke, brain functionality is severely compromised, however, the impact of the stroke is contingent upon how much damage is rendered and the brain center affected. While in some cases, people experience the warning signs of stroke, in other instances there are none. Thus, only imaging tests like an MRI in Islamabad and respective blood tests will help the doctor determine the condition.
What are the types of strokes?
There are different types of strokes, based on their causes.
In ischemic stroke, the reason for lack of blood and thus oxygen to the brain cells is a blood clot. It is the clot that prevents the blood flow and thus interrupts the oxygen supply.
There are many reasons for blood clot. Sometimes its conditions like coronavirus that increase blood’s propensity towards clotting. Other times, blood clots are a consequence of narrowed arteries, or atherosclerosis. In this condition, fat deposits known as plaques cause the constriction of the arteries.
Moreover, the blood clots can be formed in the body and can travel to the brain. This is known as embolic stroke. In such cases clots are often formed due to heart problems like atrial fibrillation. On the other hand, in a thrombotic stroke, the blood clot is formed in the arteries of the brain.
Transient Ischemic Attack
Transient ischemic attack is a type of ischemic stroke and is also known as a ministroke.
It occurs when the blood supply is temporarily interrupted. The symptoms too therefore abate quickly; they resolve in less than 24 hours.
TIAs are often considered as a warning; there is still potential to prevent a full-blown stroke if medical care and treatment is not provided.
In this type of stroke, the blood vessels in the brain either leak or are ruptured, hence the hemorrhaging. There are various factors that lead to this rupturing, with hypertension being at the forefront.
High blood pressure leads to the weakening of the blood vessels, thus increasing the likelihood of rupturing. Similarly, stress, obesity, alcohol, lack of physical activity and smoking also increase the risk of brain hemorrhages.
In certain cases, this condition is a consequence of medical complications like abnormally formed blood vessels in the brain.
What are the signs of stroke?
Regardless of the type of stroke, the signs are generally the same. A person who has had a stroke has numbness or paralysis in the face or the limbs. It generally is present on one side of the body only. The person also is disoriented, has difficulty comprehending and speaking. Patients have trouble swallowing as well.
Stoke also leads to vision problems, making it difficult for the person to see from one or both eyes. Some patients also see double.
It also causes mobility issues; balancing and coordinating is difficult for the patient. Some patients also experience severe headache during this state as well, and may even lose consciousness
What to do in case of stroke?
Medical experts have devised the acronym FAST to identify a case of stroke. The patient then urgently needs to be taken to the hospital. FAST stands for:
Face- It is important to see if the patient’s face is lopsided. Ask them to smile and check if one side of the face is drooping.
Arms- If the patient has had a stroke, one of their arms will be numb or weak. Thus, ask the patients to raise both arms and see if both are raised properly without any problem.
Speech- Slowed or slurred speech is also a sign of stroke. Also, patients who have had strokes are not able to understand what others are saying. Say a simple sentence to the patient and ask them to repeat. If their speech is slow or they are dumbfounded, things are bad.
Time- Stroke gets worse with time. If all of the above condition’s checkout, immediately call emergency services, as the patient needs urgent medical intervention.
What happens next?
Once the patient gets to the hospital, the doctors get the medical history. Various blood and imaging tests like CT scan in Lahore are conducted to ascertain the condition. If the patient is brought well within time i.e. under 3 hours of the ischemic stroke, damage control can be done.
The patient is given a clot dissolving drug to enable the blood flow to the brain. It greatly improves chances of recovery. For hemorrhages, surgery is done to stop the bleeding.