The month of May is Stroke awareness month, with charities such as The Stroke Association running various events throughout the month. Our latest Vlog “How to Identify a Stroke” from Dr Hilary Jones helps you understand why Strokes occur and how to help someone who has a stroke.
What is a Stroke?
A stroke is a brain attack. It happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off. Blood carries essential nutrients and oxygen to your brain. Without blood your brain cells can be damaged or die. This damage can have different effects, depending on where it happens in your brain. A stroke can affect the way your body works as well as how you think, feel and communicate.
How Common is a Stroke?
152,000 people suffer a stroke every year, that’s more than one every 5 minutes in the UK. Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the UK with over 1 million survivors, around 50% of these requiring ongoing support from loved ones.
One in five Strokes are fatal, highlighted by the sudden death of the Grandaddy’s bassist Kevin Garcia at the age of 41 this week. The good news is that the mortality rate of Strokes has halved in the last 20 years.
The 75+ age group is most at risk of suffering a stroke, which represents the largest proportion of telecare24 customers. That’s why having a careline alarm can be so helpful because they key to surviving a stroke is getting help fast. The long term effects of a Stroke are dramatically reduced the sooner you receive assistance from a paramedic.
Once a person has suffered a Stroke there is an increased risk of further occurrences, especially in the first month. 10% of Stroke sufferers experience a further stroke within 12 months.
How to Prevent a Stroke?
Lifestyle can play a huge part in reducing the risk of Stroke. Smoking represents the largest single risk, doubling the chance of a Stroke and accounting for around 10% of Strokes each year. Other factors such as a low salt diet, plenty of fruit and vegetables, regular exercise and reducing the amount of alcohol consumed play a role in decreasing the risk.