With a stroke, the score sometimes goes literally for minutes. Not only the possibility of his further recovery depends on how quickly and accurately the people around the patient are oriented in the situation. First of all, we are talking about life, because millions of people die every year from a stroke. Moreover, this disease does not spare anyone - neither men, nor women, nor old people, nor young people.
Stroke. Risk factors
Recently, a stroke has become very young. Cases of the development of this disease in people aged 25-30 do not surprise anyone. Many factors contribute to this, from heredity to bad habits. The main risk factors for stroke include:
- Arterial hypertension
- High blood cholesterol
- Alcohol abuse
- Constant stress
- Sedentary lifestyle, obesity
- Improper nutrition (abuse of salty, spicy, fatty foods)
In addition, stroke is more commonly reported in older people. And if at the age of 60 years, men are more susceptible to this disease than women, then after 60 years the situation changes - women suffer from stroke more often. As for the adverse outcome, mortality from stroke is higher among the representatives of the stronger sex.
Mortality due to a stroke is due to the fact that people who were nearby did not attach importance to suspicious symptoms, were confused and did not call an ambulance on time. And precious minutes went away, taking with them the victim’s chances of life.
- A stroke affects almost half a million Russians every year, that is, cases of a stroke are recorded every 2 minutes in our country. A third of patients die during the first month (many in the first days), during the year - 50% of patients
- Stroke - the second most common cause of death, in the first place - cardiovascular disease
- Stroke is a common cause of disability in patients, one in three people who have had a stroke never gets out of bed
- Stroke mortality directly depends on how quickly qualified medical care was provided.
Each of us is at risk of a stroke, and at any moment someone nearby may need emergency care. And if you know how a stroke manifests itself, what needs to be done if this happened, then you can save this person’s life.
The earlier a stroke is provided, the lower the likelihood of death and the risk that a person will be confined to a wheelchair for life.
What is a stroke?
A stroke is an acute violation of cerebral circulation, which occurs due to a clot in a blood vessel of the brain. As a result, the blood supply to a certain part of the brain worsens or stops completely, leading to its death. This leads to very serious consequences: paralysis of one side of the body (full or partial), speech impairment, change in the patient’s personality.
How to recognize the symptoms of a stroke
Signs of a stroke in most cases appear in the first minutes of the disease. And everyone can recognize them. In a stroke, brain cells, deprived of normal blood supply, begin to die, which can manifest itself with the following symptoms:
- Sharp headache
- Severe dizziness, impaired movement coordination
- Weakness, numbness of muscles on one side of the body
- Problems with speech (lethargy, impaired diction, complete inability to pronounce sounds)
- Darkness in the eyes, blurry image, double vision, blurred vision
- Confusion or loss of consciousness (often short-term)
- Disorientation in space (confusion in dates, inability to determine their location, lack of contact, a person may not recognize loved ones)
Do not ignore disturbing symptoms, even if they were short-lived. At the slightest suspicion of a stroke, for example, if a person accidentally tripped several times or literally lost consciousness for a few seconds, use the UZP rule:
Ask the person to smile. In a stroke, muscle paralysis occurs on one side of the body, as a result of which the smile turns out to be crooked - on the affected side, the corner of the mouth will remain lowered.
Try to speak with the victim by asking him to utter any simple phrase, such as “It's raining outside.” With a stroke, speech is usually impaired, becomes incoherent or inhibited.
Ask the victim to raise both hands up at the same time. In a stroke, one arm will fall or go sideways.
If doubts remain, invite the patient to stick his tongue out. With a stroke, it usually falls to one side. If the injured person has at least one sign of a stroke, urgently call an ambulance! At the same time, list all the symptoms as accurately as possible.
Even if the signs of a stroke were short-term, and the victim quickly recovered, it is important to convince him to seek medical help. You need to know that seemingly not serious symptoms of a stroke in almost 100% of cases indicate serious violations of brain functions. And this, in turn, can cause serious consequences that confine the patient to a wheelchair or even lead to death.
The symptoms of a stroke should not be taken lightly. Do not be fooled by a short-term dysfunction. In most cases, after a visible improvement, after a while, the disease progresses, but doctors no longer have time to save the patient.
Waiting for help
Before the ambulance arrives, try to take measures that will not allow to worsen the already difficult situation:
- Help the victim take a horizontal position, lay him on the bed or, if this happened on the street, on a bench or even just on the floor.
- Ensure the correct position for the victim: the head and shoulders should be slightly raised (about 30 degrees), but the neck should not be bent
- Take care of the free flow of air - open the window, window or door
- Unfasten clothes that interfere with free breathing, loosen a tie, remove a scarf or scarf from the neck
- If vomiting occurs, turn the victim’s head to the side to prevent vomiting from entering the airways.
If the worst happened to someone from your family or friends - do not let the panic overwhelm you. Indeed, a lot depends on your composure and confidence in such a difficult situation.
When can a stroke be suspected
The first signs of a stroke are not always pronounced and can easily be confused with overwork, migraine or a developing hypertensive crisis. To start the pathology is characteristic:
- stunned (a person loses the thread of the conversation, may cease to recognize others, or may have difficulty with orientation),
- decreased sensitivity on one side of the body,
- visual disturbance (double vision, flashing of flies or darkening in the eyes),
- violation of coordination (the gait becomes shaky and the patient cannot make precise movements),
- the appearance of nausea (often a person experiences vomiting, which brings only short-term relief).
With extensive foci of arising ischemia, the patient loses consciousness, possibly a violation of vital functions (breathing, palpitations). This is a life-threatening condition requiring immediate medical attention.
Most people, before the development of early symptoms of stroke, have signs of an approaching stroke:
- difficulty thinking
- sensation of numbness and weakness in the limbs on the one hand.
Signs of an impending stroke can be expressed weakly and are often ignored by patients, thereby aggravating the severity of the pathology. It is important to remember that if there is a suspicion of a pre-stroke, you must show the person to the doctor. There is no need to be afraid to make a mistake by confusing the symptoms of other diseases preceding the stroke with signs of other diseases - modern medical equipment allows you to accurately identify the foci of the onset of stroke and exclude other pathologies that have similar symptoms.
General information about the disease
Harbingers of stroke should be known to all patients prone to the development of this abnormal phenomenon. What is it all about? A stroke is called an acute circulatory disturbance in the brain, which is characterized by the sudden appearance of general or focal neurological symptoms, which lasts more than a day or leads to the death of the patient due to cerebrovascular pathology.
According to experts, strokes include such pathological conditions as cerebral hemorrhage, heart attack and subarachnoid hemorrhage, which has clinical and etiopathogenetic differences.
Given the period of regression of neurological deficiency, transient circulatory disorders and minor stroke are distinguished.
It is impossible not to say that the disease in question can affect any person, any age and social category. Such a severe pathology often leads to a pronounced limitation of the patient's usual life activities.
The harbingers of a stroke make it possible to judge the imminent danger, as well as prevent the development of serious consequences.
Knowing the provoking factors of a vascular catastrophe, the patient can consult a doctor and significantly reduce the risk of this dangerous condition. So what are the harbingers of stroke? According to experts, such a pathological phenomenon may occur due to:
- significant fluctuations in blood pressure,
- atherosclerotic deposits on the vascular walls,
- inactive lifestyle
- labor activities associated with a long static position of the body,
- metabolic disorders in the body,
- pathologies in the intracranial vessels,
- prolonged use of certain groups of drugs,
- excess weight of the patient.
It should be noted that the precursors of hemorrhagic stroke are manifested by spasms of blood vessels (intracranial), as well as a local cessation of blood supply to some brain structures.
How to recognize the initial development of the disease?
The forerunners of ischemic cerebral stroke are known to few patients. However, they can be recognized by peculiar symptoms that signal a violation of full circulation in the patient's body.
Timely detected stroke is only half the success. The sooner a person gets to a neurologist who selects the necessary treatment for him, the faster he will be able to return to a full life.
The harbingers of ischemic stroke are difficult to recognize, especially for an ordinary patient without experience and special education. As a rule, in this pathological condition, a sharp jump in pressure occurs, which leads to rupture of the vascular wall, and the patient suddenly loses consciousness.
Who is susceptible to a disease (stroke)?
The harbingers of stroke should be known to all patients in the subgroup of the increased risk of developing this disease, or rather:
- To people whose immediate family suffered this pathology.
- In the absence of a rational diet and adequate physical activity.
- When exposed to intense physical and psycho-emotional overload.
- With constant individual fluctuations in blood pressure.
Harbinger of a stroke. General symptoms
An ischemic condition does not occur in minutes. Such a pathological phenomenon stretches for hours and even a day. If, after awakening, a person feels nausea or weakness uncharacteristic for him, as well as flickering of dots in front of his eyes, this should definitely alert. Experts argue that such phenomena are clear signs of negative changes occurring in intracranial vessels.
Thus, we can talk about a stroke when observing the following symptoms:
- uncharacteristic drowsiness and apathy,
- sudden, unreasonable and sudden fatigue,
- alternating temperature indicators in the patient’s body,
- dizziness, migraine pain manifestations,
- significant leaps in individual indicators of blood pressure.
It should be especially noted that all of the above signs of a stroke can either disappear or reappear, but in a more pronounced form.
Other symptoms of the disease
Symptoms of a stroke can be the following phenomena:
- speech impairment
- sense of smell disorder
- violation of skin susceptibility, in particular numbness,
- impaired perception of sounds,
- stereoscopic vision,
- inability to recognize previously known people or objects.
All of these symptoms individually or in combination require urgent consultation with a neurologist, as well as diagnostic procedures to establish the absence or presence of a vascular accident.
As for the hemorrhagic form of stroke, it is characterized by a sharp jump in blood pressure, as well as a noticeable blanching or redness of the skin of the face, loss of consciousness, sudden changes in temperature indicators, heart and breathing disorder. All these signs develop in a matter of seconds, and therefore they are almost invisible.
Harbingers of Stroke in Men
Most often, the first signs of the condition in question in males develop after forty years. As a rule, this contributes to their improper lifestyle, as well as stressful overload.
The main precursors of an impending vascular catastrophe in men are the following conditions:
- Unusual and inexplicable dizziness.
- Sharp expressed pain in a certain area of the head or in all its areas.
- Numbness of the upper or lower limb, tongue or half of the face.
- Muscle weakness, pronounced (arms and legs become cottony).
- A significant drop in vision in one eye.
- The development of uncharacteristic shortness of breath.
- Disorder of speech activity.
- Dyspeptic disorders, or rather the development of nausea and even vomiting, which does not bring significant relief.
- Impairment of motor coordination.
In rare cases, such precursors disappear on their own, without any medical intervention. However, do not ignore them, because in most cases they return, but in a more severe form.
Weak Sex Signs
The harbingers of a woman’s stroke are practically no different from those of a stronger sex. As a rule, they include the following conditions:
- Ringing and noise in the head.
- Unexplained dizziness observed for several hours.
- Difficult speech activity.
- Pain in the head of a constant nature, not amenable to the effects of conventional medicines.
- A feeling of numbness in the limbs (usually on one side of the body).
- Increased forgetfulness.
- Lack of coordination of movements.
- Unusual drowsiness or apathy.
- Various hallucinations, including visual, sensitive and olfactory.
It should be especially noted that in the fairer sex, the first symptoms of vascular pathology may be unconventional. In this regard, their early diagnosis is significantly complicated. In addition, many women themselves delay the appeal to the doctor, believing that all of the above symptoms will disappear on their own.
What to do with the development of a stroke?
The early symptoms of a stroke require the mandatory conduct of adequate treatment with modern drugs. Their type, dosage and frequency of use is determined only by a neurologist.
Self-medication with this diagnosis is absolutely contraindicated. It can significantly worsen the condition of the patient, as well as lead to death.
In addition to taking pharmaceuticals, the doctor must advise his patient to adjust the diet and exclude the use of foods that are saturated with cholesterol and fats. It is also necessary to pay special attention to adequate physical activity. The patient should spend more time outdoors, visit the pool, do fitness.
It can not be said that every day the patient needs to control blood pressure indicators, as well as blood glucose levels.
From all of the above, we can conclude that the timely forerunners of a stroke can become a kind of straw that will save a person’s life and return him to full-fledged work. In this case, we must not forget that the symptoms of the pathology in question can be very unexpressed. In this regard, a person at risk should regularly take tests and visit a doctor.
Ischemia of brain tissue that occurs when blood flow is disturbed provokes the development of the following symptoms:
- migraine-like pains
- violation of coordination
- the appearance of seizures (not always),
- memory disorder (a person cannot remember the events that have occurred, does not answer questions immediately).
These are the main primary symptoms that make it possible to suspect acute stroke. В зависимости от тяжести ишемии головного мозга, инсультные проявления могут вызывать незначительный дискомфорт или сильно ухудшать самочувствие человека.
Головной мозг разделен на зоны, которые отвечают за определенные функции в организме. Depending on which areas suffered from ischemia, the manifestations of the pathology will vary slightly:
- Unilateral disorders of sensitivity and muscle strength. The victim complains of numbness of the skin, weakness in the limbs, inability to fully walk or hold objects in his hand.
- Change of sight. The eyeball from the side of the lesion is motionless or, when moving, “lags behind” the healthy eye when trying to follow a moving object. Because of this, the patient's gaze seems strange and inanimate.
- Asymmetry of the face. On one side of a man, the corner of his mouth is lowered, the nasolabial fold is smoothed, the eyelid is half-let down.
Focal manifestations of a possible stroke are not all. An asymptomatic stroke occurs in which the victim complains of nausea, migraine and memory impairment.
Doctors, giving explanations on how to determine a stroke in a person, recommend not looking for all the symptoms in the victim - each human body is individual and the beginning of the pathology develops differently and the harbingers of the stroke will not always be. With a hemorrhagic form of pathology, when a hemorrhage occurs in the brain tissue, the first symptoms appear suddenly.
If it is suspected that a harbinger of a stroke has appeared or a person has foci of ischemia in the brain tissue, the patient must be taken to a medical institution. Experienced doctors know how to recognize a stroke and determine the location of the lesion.
It is important to remember that timely treatment will help the victim restore impaired functions and avoid disability.
Home testing at ONMK
When the interlocutor suddenly loses the thread of the conversation, and his look becomes strange, then people who do not work in medicine have a feeling of panic and most cannot remember what signs of the approaching stroke should be sought from the victim.
Experts offer a simple test how to determine a stroke at home.
A person needs to check three signs:
- Speech. The victim speaks slurredly, having difficulty pronouncing difficult words. The answers of a patient with brain damage become short and not always accurate (he misspells his name and age, finds it difficult to say where he is).
- Facial Expressions. A smile or a grin of teeth is the main test for a stroke. The facial muscles on one side of the face will act weaker and one corner of the mouth with a grin or smile will be slightly lowered.
- Symmetrical movement of the hands. The right side is controlled by the left hemisphere, and the left by the right. If an ischemic lesion occurs, the movement of the arm on one side of the body will be slower, signs of impaired coordination will appear.
Recommendations on how to check a stroke at home only help if there is a blood flow disturbance and brain tissue is damaged.
The manifestation of an impending stroke lesion is not always accompanied by pronounced symptoms, often manifested only by stupor and headaches.
How to help a patient
Knowing what to do if a person has a stroke will help to improve the prognosis of treatment for the victim.
- Call an ambulance. The operator should describe in detail the symptoms that arose in the victim.
- To provide a person with a comfortable position. It is recommended to lay it on a flat surface, raising your head and shoulders with a pillow or clothes rolled up by a roller.
- Take care of proper breathing. To do this, unfasten tight clothing, loosen belts or a tie.
- Try to reassure. Briefly describe how a person feels during a stroke, then this is fear because of the inability to understand what is happening to him. In the room where the patient is located, it is necessary to remove all sound stimuli (turn off the TV, computer or radio), close the curtains and ask people who are not busy helping to leave the room. It is necessary to speak with the victim in a calm voice.
- Monitor the condition of a person. Watch your breathing, and if vomiting occurs, turn your head to the side, preventing vomiting from entering the airways.
- Measure pressure and pulse (if possible). Often, before a stroke, a person has an increase in pressure. With high blood pressure, if the patient is conscious, it is allowed to give a tablet of Moxonidine or Kopoten.
- Apply ice to the occipital region, and a warm heating pad to the legs.
There are no universal signs of how a stroke begins - the symptomatology depends on the individual characteristics of the body and on the localization of the ischemic focus. Some patients become aggressive, but most are disoriented and depressed by their condition, sometimes pathological drowsiness is noted.
It is important to monitor the consciousness of the victim, not allowing to fall asleep. To do this, it is recommended to involve a person in the conversation, asking to answer monosyllabic questions. A sudden refusal of contact indicates an aggravation of a person's condition and the development of coma.
What inaction leads to
Ignorance of what a stroke looks like and untimely relief can lead to serious consequences:
- Persistent disability. With prolonged ischemia, brain cells gradually die. With the destruction of the tissues responsible for a certain function of the body (movement, speech, memory), these skills are lost.
- Fatal outcome. If the centers responsible for the functioning of vital organs are affected, then a person dies without assistance in the next few hours after the development of brain ischemia.
To reduce the severe consequences of the pathology that has arisen, it is recommended to remember how the stroke manifests itself (three main signs) and what to do with stroke.
According to statistics, more than 40% of patients undergoing stroke, within 3-5 years there is a repeated violation of cerebral blood flow, which is more difficult and almost always ends with disability.
How to find out if a person has a stroke? To do this, just ask the patient, collecting an anamnesis. Most people will tell not only when the pathology occurred, but also what consequences remained with incomplete restoration of brain function (the exception is persons with impaired memory caused by acute ischemia or other brain diseases).
If it is impossible to interview a person, CT is a way to determine whether there was a stroke. During a computer scan, layered images are taken, revealing foci of necrosis.
CT scan of the brain
After identifying the previously transferred stroke, the stroke is recommended:
- Monitor blood pressure. Frequent crises are a common cause of ischemia.
- Donate blood regularly. It is necessary to take into account coagulation indicators and cholesterol level.
- Refuse alcohol and nicotine.
- Reduce the amount of salt consumed to 5 g / day. Excess salts provoke hypertension and the appearance of edema.
- Include vegetables and fruits in the daily menu.
- Normalize weight. Obesity makes it difficult to fully circulate in the body.
- Move regularly. Severe physical exertion is contraindicated for stroke insects. Therapeutic exercises, swimming or walking are recommended.
These recommendations are also suitable for people at risk for stroke and will help prevent the occurrence of primary pathology.
Those who are interested in how to check for belonging to a risk group, it is enough to visit the local therapist. The doctor will prescribe the necessary tests and explain the result of the examination.
The initial symptoms of a stroke should be remembered and when a person has similar symptoms, begin to act. It is important to know that life and human health depend on timely assistance.
What is a stroke?
Stroke is an acute violation of cerebral circulation. It occurs with blockage or rupture of cerebral vessels. The blood supply to the cerebral hemispheres is disrupted, neurons starve and die.
Stroke is of two main types: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Most often ischemic (more than 80% of cases). It begins due to narrowing and blockage of the vessels of the brain. Blood clots and foreign bodies (including air bubbles from injections) that enter the bloodstream contribute to circulatory disorders. Lack of oxygen and nutrition causes brain cell death. Although such a stroke develops rather slowly, it is often accompanied by precursors, which will be discussed below.
Hemorrhagic stroke, as well as subarachnoid hemorrhage, is accompanied by the release of blood from the vascular bed. Hemorrhage can be caused by rupture of a vessel or thinning of its wall. A hemorrhagic stroke always develops very quickly in a matter of minutes. There is a sharp pain in the head, comparable to the blow of a dagger. The patient loses consciousness, vomiting may begin. A hematoma (blood clot, bruise) forms in the brain tissue, which compresses the nearest departments. A large hematoma often requires surgical removal.
In all cases, it is necessary to restore normal nutrition of neurons as quickly as possible. This will stop their further death, help to transfer the disease easier and recover faster.
Signs of a stroke
There are certain symptoms that can suggest a pathology of cerebral circulation. When they appear, you must immediately call an ambulance, because the bill goes for minutes. The main signs of a stroke:
- disturbance or confusion, when a person does not understand where he is,
- loss of consciousness even for a few moments,
- headache, which may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting,
- weakness in the limbs (only left or right),
- impaired sensitivity of the arms and legs,
- unrelated slurred speech
- visual disturbances (blurred vision, narrowing of the visual fields, strabismus).
In a state of apoplexy shock, a person has a state of stupor, there may be increased drowsiness or causeless excitement. A sense of balance is disturbed, the patient begins to stumble out of the blue and fall.
With some types of stroke, a person cannot reach his collarbone with his chin. This is caused by a spasm of the neck muscles. Such cramps occur with cerebral hemorrhage.
An alarming sign is any asymmetry. If weakness - then in one half of the body, if visual impairment - then in one eye. This is due to the fact that with a stroke, usually only one of the hemispheres is affected. And body functions suffer “diagonally” with respect to the lesion.
Simple express diagnostics
To determine a stroke there is a simple technology. Anyone can highlight the signs of the disease on the basis of the mnemonic technique of UZP - Smile, Speak, Raise.
First of all, let the patient try to smile. With a stroke, this will not work, the smile will be crooked. One corner of the mouth remains down. Instead of a smile, a crooked grin will come out at best.
Let your loved one say any simple phrase. An alarming sign if he cannot speak the usual words or speech becomes slurred.
Then you need to raise two hands in front of you. In a stroke, one of them will rise poorly or even “float away” to the side.
There is another mnemonic trick - BLOW:
- the smile is symmetrical
- the movement of both hands up in front of you at the same time,
- articulation (pronunciation) is clear,
- the solution is to call an ambulance if these signs are violated.
Improper lifestyle, unhealthy diet, bad habits can cause a stroke.
The occurrence of a stroke is provoked
- sedentary lifestyle
- elderly age.
The likelihood of a stroke is higher in those who have already had this disease several years ago. Repeated strokes are much harder to tolerate.
Among the risk factors, it is worth mentioning transient ischemic attacks. Popularly, they are better known as microstrokes. A transient ischemic attack is transient in nature and has the same symptoms as a stroke. A person has a headache, dizzy, one side of the body goes numb, speech is disturbed. Short-term loss of consciousness may occur. The main difference is that the manifestations of a microstroke pass without external traces during the day.
If there are signs of a microstroke, you should consult a doctor, even if everything went away after 10 minutes. The fact is that almost half of the patients develop a full stroke over the next five years.
Men get sick and die more often than women, especially before age 60. The risk of illness increases after 30 years. Most cases of stroke occur over the age of 45, more than 60% - after 65 years.
The combination of several factors significantly increases the risk of stroke. Without waiting for the last blow, it is important to carry out prophylaxis and monitor your health. It’s better not to treat such a complex disease as a stroke, but to prevent its development.
First aid for stroke
Even if not all the signs are present, you need to call a doctor as soon as possible and describe by telephone what symptoms the patient has. Before the ambulance arrives, the patient is conveniently laid down, loosening all belts, buttons, fasteners. The head should be raised 30 degrees, and the neck with the back should be in line.
The patient is not given food and drink, so as not to provoke nausea. If vomiting has begun, the head is tilted to the side. Care must be taken to prevent vomiting from entering the respiratory tract. You can clean your mouth with a rolled up handkerchief or bandage.
It is important to provide the patient with peace and an influx of fresh air. Watch your breath carefully. If breathing becomes irregular or completely disappears, you need to start artificial respiration and indirect heart massage.
Indirect cardiac massage requires 60-70 pressures per minute for an adult. Every 15 clicks, 2 quick breaths should be taken if one person is resuscitating. Or 1 breath for 4-5 clicks, if resuscitation is done together.
The criterion for the correctness of cardiopulmonary resuscitation is the pulsation of the carotid artery on the neck and the raising of the chest at the time of inspiration.
For a stroke survivor, early hospitalization is mandatory. Only in a hospital can a detailed MRI scan, computed tomography, and intensive care are prescribed.
After discharge, the patient expects a long rehabilitation. Healthy brain cells are able to take on the functions of the lost. The most important thing here is regular training, preferably under the guidance of a specialist. Special exercises will be required to restore body mobility and a speech therapist to return to normal speech.
Human health is very fragile, and the heart and brain are the most important organs. Any pathology in them is very dangerous. In Russia, more than 400 thousand people get stroke annually. In a large city, 100-120 cases of the disease occur daily. Most patients become disabled, and up to 30% receive a severe disability group. Treating the disease at home increases the risk of complications.
You can save a person only if you provide the necessary medical care for several hours. Optimal - no more than 2-4 hours. Therefore, it is so important to be able to determine a stroke before the doctor arrives.