A stroke happens when blood flow to part of the brain is cut off and brain cells are damaged or die. Strokes are sudden and have an immediate effect.
You can recognise a stroke using the FAST test.
Facial weakness: can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
Arm weakness: can the person raise both arms?
Speech: can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
Time: time to call an ambulance if you see any one of these signs
Stroke is a medical emergency and if you recognise the signs of a stroke you must dial 999.
The quicker you can respond to a stroke can help reduce the damage to the brain and improve the chances of full recovery.
There are two main types of stroke –
- ischaemic – where the blood supply is stopped because of a blood clot, accounting for 85% of all cases
- haemorrhagic – where a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain bursts
A Mini stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attack or TIA for short is caused by a temporally interruption to the blood flow to the brain. The effects can last between a few minutes or 24 hours, however, this is a warning sign that you may be at risk of having a major stroke in the future. Even though a mini stroke effects are temporary, you still need to seek emergency medical treatment ASAP.
Who is at Risk of Stroke?
Every year about 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke. That's one person every five minutes.
Strokes can happen to anyone, but some groups have a higher risk of stroke -
- older people - most people who have a stroke are over 55, and the risk increases with age
- people who have had a stroke or Mini Stroke in the past
- people of South Asian or African-Caribbean background
None of these factors mean that you will necessarily have a stroke, but it is useful to be aware if you are at increased risk so that you can take steps to live a healthier lifestyle.
Here are simple lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the risk of stroke –
- eat a healthy diet
- exercise regularly
- avoid smoking
- reduce your alcohol intake
You can find more information on improving your health and wellbeing on our staying healthy section
Hull Stroke Prevention Service
If you have already had a stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA or mini-stroke), or if you've been told that you may be at high risk of stroke, Hull stroke prevention service are here to help.
Their coordinators will help you reduce your risk of stroke by working intensively with you to plan realistic lifestyle changes. This could include -
- one-to-one sessions to identify and explain your stroke risk factors
- support for you in making positive lifestyle changes which can help reduce your risk of stroke
- regular exercise and lifestyle groups and support from trained volunteers
- the opportunity to regain confidence
- signposting to other organisations that could help
To find out more contact Sally Welch at Hull Stroke prevention service via –
- email: email@example.com
- telephone: 01430 871 728
in person -
c/o The Coach House
11 Owler Ings Road
NHS Health Check
The NHS health checks are free to adults in England aged between 40 and 74 years of age, its aim is to spot early signs of –
- kidney disease
- heart disease
- type two diabetes
Effects of Stroke
Strokes affect people in different ways. The effects of stroke depend on when and how much damaged was done because of the Stroke. How healthy the person was prior to having a stroke is also a factor on how a stroke might affect you.
No two people are alike but the common aftereffects of someone who is recovering from stroke are –
- communications difficulties/li>
- cognitive problems
- difficulty with concentration and paying attention
- Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
- emotional changes
- incontinence constipation, or problems passing water
- memory problems
- muscle weakness of the body, often affecting one limb or one side of the body
- numbness, pins-and-needles, tingling or unusual sensitivity in the limbs
- paralysis - being unable to move part of the body
- physical problems
- personality changes
- struggling to making plans or decisions
- tightness, stiffness or pain in muscles (muscle spasticity)
- visual problems
A Doctor or Occupational therapist will often carry out an assessment to see what physical, physiological and cognitive problems you may have. They can then identify strategies to help you manage these problems.
Recovering from a Stroke
Stroke affects everybody differently, and people recover from stroke at different rates. It is impossible to say immediately after a stroke if or when a person will be able to return to the day-to-day life they lived previously.
Depending on the severity of the stroke determines where you will begin your stroke recovery. Once admitted to hospital you will be admitted to a designated stroke ward at Hull Royal Infirmary Ward 110. where your stroke recovery begins.
A multidisciplinary team of Stroke Consultants, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Speech and language Therapists complete their assessments to identify what support and rehabilitation you will need to support your recovery.
If you have had a small stroke and can be safely discharged home, the Community Stroke Therapy Team and Community Stroke carers can visit you at home to continue your ongoing recovery.
If you have a larger stroke you may need to be transferred to our Stroke Rehabilitation Unit (Rossmore) were your ongoing stroke recovery will continue with a multi-disciplinary team of stroke professionals working with you every day to continue your recovery away from a hospital setting.
You will have a dedicated stroke social worker to support you with your discharge home and any benefit advice and social support you and your family need.
PAUL for Brain Recovery
PAUL for Brain Recovery provides support and guidance for people that have been affected by acquired brain injury (ABI). They work with each person to help them reach their full potential and overcome the subsequent challenges that follow at different stages of their recovery.
Details of the specific recovery pathways they offer can be found below
Alternatively, you can contact PAUL for
Brain recovery via –
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- telephone: 01482 620 229
In person –
PAUL For Brain Recovery Centre
Wilberforce Health Centre
6-10 Story Street
East Riding of Yorkshire
Reducing Swallowing Problems by Making Liquids Thicker
Thickened drinks are normal drinks that have a thickener added to make them thicker. They are often recommended for people who can no longer swallow normal fluids safely since their stroke. This is because drinks go into their lungs, causing coughing, choking or more serious risks such as chest infection and aspiration pneumonia
To improve the safety of swallowing, it is important to follow the recommendations made by the Speech and Language Therapist regarding the consistency of fluids and type of food consistency you can manage to eat. (Follow the IDDSI guidelines below)
When thickened fluids are recommended, this means ALL fluids need to be thickened to the recommended consistency e.g.-
- Hot drinks including water - tea and coffee
- Cold drinks including water, juices, fizzy drinks
- Supplement drinks, e.g. Ensure, food supplement drinks, Calshake etc.
- Soups / Gravy / Sauces / Custard / Medication / Alcoholic drinks / Etc
International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Imitative Guidelines (IDDSI)
IDDSI has developed a standard terminology with a colour and numerical index to describe texture modification for food and drink. This framework has been adopted by all UK manufacturers and health care settings.
The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative 2016 @http://iddsi.org/framework/. Attribution is NOT PERMITTED for derivative works incorporating any alterations to the IDDSI Framework that extend beyond language translation. Supplementary Notice: Modification of the diagrams or descriptors within the IDDSI Framework is DISCOURAGED and NOT RECOMMENDED. Alterations to elements of the IDDSI framework may lead to confusion and errors in diet texture or drink selection for patients with dysphagia. Such errors have previously been associated with adverse events including choking and death
The Stroke Association
The Stroke association are the UK’s leading charity dedicated to conquering stroke. They deliver stroke services across the UK, campaign for better stroke care, invest in research and fundraise to expand their reach to as many stroke survivors as possible.
They also have a vast amount of advice and information on a wide range of topics that someone with a stroke might need support with. You can access these in various different formats including, slandered leaflet, large print, Braille, or listen to them by using the audio files. To help you find this information quickly, we have provided links to these publications which you can access on the right hand side of this page.
Alternatively you can contact them via -
- email: email@example.com
- telephone: 0303 3033 100 (open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)
My Stroke Guide
My Stroke Guide is the stroke support tool and online community from the Stroke Association. You can find –
- advice and information
- video library
- connect with other stroke survivors
- ask questions
- information for families
You need to create an account in order to use the site which you can do by using the link provided
Different Strokes is run by younger stroke survivors for younger stroke survivors. We have personal experience of the realities of life after stroke
Although they do not have a local group for you to attend in Hull, they are able to give support and practical advice either over the phone or through their Facebook group
Alternatively you can contact them via telephone information line on 01908 317 618 or 0345 1307 172
Below is a list of local support available for people recovering from stroke?
Local Support in Hull
Meets at –
Preston Road. HU9 3QB
Last Friday of each month 11am till 1pm
Contact Cheryl on 01482 781 215
Access the Freedom Stroke Club website
Meets at –
Three Tuns public House
34 Boothferry Road
1st Friday of each month at from 12noon till 2pm
Contact Joyce on 01482 376 483
Meets at –
3rd Thursday of each month at 10 am
Contact Rob on 01482 565 767
Meets at –
National Public House
1st Wednesday of each month from 1pm till 3pm
Contact Sue on 01482 223 432
Meets at –
Maurice Rawlings Centre
Every Monday 1pm till 3pm
Contact Sue on 01482 223 432
Meets at –
Community Enterprise Centre
Every Tuesday 10.30am to 12.30pm
Contact Mandy on 07581 302 582