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A stroke can occur when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked or ruptures causing a part of the brain to become starved of oxygen.

If you suspect a stroke you must call the Emergency Medical Services immediately

Signs and symptoms are a sudden headache, confusion, numbness, paralysis down one side of the body, loss of bladder and bowel control, and not being able to coordinate the body.

Signs and Symptoms – A Headache, weakness and numbness, seizures, loss of bowel/bladder control, altered level of consciousness, double or blurred vision, inability to speak or garbled speech, difficulty breathing, paralysis affecting one side of the body, nausea, and vomiting.

Treatment - How to recognise signs of a stroke and symptoms using the pneumonic FAST activate EMS, check, and correct ABC. Give nothing to eat or drink.

Place the patient in the recovery position if the patient is unconscious, breathing effectively, and there is no suspected head, neck, or back injury.

F – Face - has their face dropped on one side.

A – Arms - can they lift their arms together.

S – Speech - is their speech slurred.

T – Time - call the EMS quickly.

The quicker you identify if someone is having a stroke and the sooner they receive medical treatment, the more of the brain can be saved, allowing the patient to have a much fuller recovery.

A stroke can happen with no obvious cause to people of any age, but there are factors to know that increase the likelihood of it happening.

Some of these factors are things that can't be changed, but others may be reduced by lifestyle changes or medication.