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A stroke (cerebral vascular accident or CVA) occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is cut off. This is caused by either a blood clot (ischaemic stroke - 80%) or a burst blood vessel (haemorrhagic stroke - 20%).

Symptoms that subside within a few minutes with full recovery may be caused by a mini stroke (transient ischaemic attack or TIA). This is often seen as a warning or temporary stroke. These should be taken seriously as an indicator of a full stroke. People who have a mini stroke have a 1-2 in 10 chance of full stroke within a month. Strokes are the third main cause of death in the UK (approximately 4.5million people every year).

A stroke is extremely serious requiring treatment straight away. The longer the brain is starved of oxygen, the greater the risk of brain damage.

Possible early signs and symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Temporary blurred or double vision
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Sudden or severe headache
  • Sudden numbness or weakness
  • Loss of balance or trouble walking
  • Inability to move one side of the body
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty swallowing

Symptoms are dependant on which part of the brain has been affected.

Additional symptoms following a stroke may include:

  • Depression (1 in 5 people)
  • Altered/impaired mobility & dexterity (including joint and muscle stiffness)
  • Altered/impaired cognitive function
  • Altered/impaired behavioural function
  • Altered/impaired memory (1 in 6 people)
  • Speech difficulties (4 out of 10 people)
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Incontinence (approximately half)
  • Sight problems (1 in 5 people)

Treatment / Therapy

  • Usually hospitalisation is required
  • Preventative medication (blood pressure control, diabetes control, cholesterol lowering drugs, anti-coagulants may be used in specific conditions)
  • Surgery to remove clots
  • A stay on a specialised stroke unit may be required for rehabilitation
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Dietician support

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"We were very happy with the outcome of our case, especially as we were initially offered nothing from the Tour Operator. Irwin Mitchell were very professional throughout and we are very happy with the outcome."

Chris and Michael, Worksop