What is a Stroke?

A stroke is basically an attack to the brain. When a stroke is happening, the blood (with nutrients and oxygen) can't get through to some parts of the brain. If you don't have immediate treatment from the hospital, it is likely that either part of the brain is damaged for life or it's fatal.

Around 150,000 people every year in the UK have a stroke. About a 1/3 of people have a significant recovery, 1/3 die from the stroke and a 1/3 have long-term damage such as physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects.

Strokes are categorised in either ischemic or haemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes are caused by a blood clot which decreases the blood supply to part of the brain whereas haemorrhagic strokes are caused by a blood vessel bursting in the brain (bleed to the brain).

The symptoms of having a stroke are classified in F.A.S.T:

  • Face - has your face fallen on one side of the body?

  • Arms - can you put both arms in the air?

  • Speech - has your speech been slurry?

  • Time - time to call 999!

Key Stroke Terms

CVA - Cerebrovascular Accident (a stroke)

Ischemic Stroke - blood clot which decreases the blood supply to part of the brain

Haemorrhagic Stroke - blood vessel bursting in the brain (a bleed to the brain)

TIA - Transient Ischemic Attack - a mini-stroke - it's similar to a stroke, but improves within 24 hours

More Information

You can find out more about a stroke by visiting these websites: