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Long Term Health Conditions

Stroke

General Information

 

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


Mini Stroke

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.

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 after-effects of someone who is recovering from stroke are –

  • apathy
  • communications difficulties
  • cognitive problems
  • depression
  • 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

Pathway one (Opens in a new window)

Pathway two (Opens in a new window)

Visit the PAUL website to find out more (Opens in a new window)

Download the going home after an acquired brain injury here (PDF, 1Mb) (Opens in a new window).

Alternatively, you can contact PAUL for Brain Recovery via –

In person –

PAUL For Brain Recovery Centre

Wilberforce Health Centre

6-10 Story Street

Hull

East Riding of Yorkshire

HU1 3SA

 

Support in Hull

Below is a list of local support available for people recovering from stroke.

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