Stroke awareness event held

2017-11-08 06:01

NETCARE St Anne’s and Royal Hospital (physical rehab and sub-acute facility) held an awareness day to educate public and staff about stroke. Stroke is the fourth most common cause of death and the leading cause of disability in South Africa.

According to the heart and stroke foundation in South Africa, 10 people suffer a stroke every hour in South Africa and 70 people die each day because of stroke.

WHAT IS A STROKE?

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is disrupted. The affected area becomes starved of oxygen causing the brain cells to die.

A stroke can damage the function of the brain, leading to disability or death.

There are two main types of stroke: haemorrhagic and ischemic strokes.

The first is caused by a haemorrhage in the blood vessels of the brain while the latter results from a cutting in the supply of blood to the brain as a result of thrombosis or an embolism.

WHO IS AT RISK OF STROKE?

While anyone can suffer a stroke, individuals over the age of 55 are at greater risk of developing stroke.

Other risk factors include: high blood pressure, diabetes, genetic predisposition, family history of stroke, high cholesterol levels and smoking

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF STROKE?

Symptoms can differ greatly depending on which part of the brain has been affected.

However there are a number of signs of stroke that are common to most people. Anyone who is experiencing or witnesses the sudden onset of any of the following symptoms in a person should contact an emergency medical service provider or Netcare 082 911 immediately.

•Face drooping: the facial muscles are weak and one side of the face droops

•Arm and leg weakness: the person may feel weak in one or more of their arms or legs and experience numbness down one side of their body

•Speech difficulty : the patient may slur words, use words incorrectly or be unable to speak

•Severe headache with no known cause or sudden blindness in one or both eyes

Stroke is largely preventable. You can reduce your stroke risk by living a healthy lifestyle, controlling high blood pressure, not smoking and eating health.

A diet should include low saturated and trans fats, being physically active and maintaining a healthy body weight.
- Supplied.

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