A stroke is a rapid loss of brain function that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, leading to brain cells either being damaged or destroyed. Whilst largely preventable, stroke is one of the main causes of deaths in the UK and is also the leading cause of adult disability. Strokes are medical emergencies and urgent treatment in the first 72 hours is essential because the sooner a person receives an effective diagnosis and treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to occur.
There are two types of stroke:
• An ischaemic stroke resulting from a blockage in one of the blood vessels leading to the brain.
• A haemorrhagic stroke resulting from a bleed in the brain.
In addition, a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or ‘mini-stroke’ is a sign that a person is at risk of going on to have a full stroke. Although people often assume that only older people have strokes, in fact young and middle-aged people also experience strokes and these can have a huge impact on their life.
Stroke numbers across Coventry and Warwickshire