How do I recognize a stroke?


How do I recognize a stroke?

Around 25,000 people in Austria suffer a stroke every year. Recognizing the early warning signs and knowing what to do in an emergency can save lives.

In Germany, around 25,000 people suffer a stroke every year. Among them not only people of old age. In fact, after cardiovascular diseases and cancer, stroke is the third most common cause of death in Austria. Here you can find out what exactly happens in the event of a stroke, what the first signs are and how the bystander can provide help.

What is a stroke actually?
When you have a stroke or stroke, there is a sudden disruption in blood flow to the brain. The cause is either a blocked or a burst blood vessel. If action is not taken immediately, it can happen that so many brain cells die that the patient suffers permanent damage such as paralysis or speech disorders or, in the worst case, even dies.

What are the first signs of a stroke?
According to the Trinicum Center for Integrative Medicine and Pain Management , the most common and important symptoms of stroke are :

Unilateral paralysis (e.g. arms and face are often affected, the face “hangs”)
Speech disorders (stuttering speech, words do not come to those affected)
Coordination disorders (e.g. gait disorders)
“The symptoms of a stroke usually appear very suddenly – even if the symptoms are mild and only occur for a short time, the emergency doctor must be called without delay,” advises Dr. Isabel Hoffmann-Wissenwasser in a broadcast on the occasion of today’s World Stroke Day. Mild symptoms, sometimes lasting as little as a minute to an hour, occur during a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, also known as a “minor stroke”).”

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In 80 percent of cases, an actual stroke would occur within two days of a TIA. In the first few months after a TIA, the general risk of stroke is increased. “That’s why quick action is required after a TIA: under observation in a hospital with a stroke unit, strokes can be prevented. If a stroke occurs, its mortality and long-term effects can be reduced,” says the expert.

How can an outsider help in an emergency?
If a stroke is suspected, those present should immediately alert the emergency doctor (emergency number 144). Until this arrives, it makes sense to calm the patient down. To do this, position the upper body slightly higher and open tight clothing (such as a collar or tie). This makes breathing easier. In addition, it is best to open the window to provide fresh air.

If the patient is unconscious but still breathing, they can be placed in the recovery position (on the paralyzed side). Check breathing and pulse regularly.

If there are no signs of breathing, it is best to immediately turn the affected person onto their back and start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (cardiac massage and possibly mouth-to-mouth resuscitation).

Take precautions in good time
Contrary to the opinion of many, strokes are not a problem that only affects old people. For this reason, it is all the more important that preventive care is taken seriously. “We recommend a special check-up for men over the age of 45 and for women over the age of 50,” says Dr. Hoffmann knowledge water.

However, if you have risk factors, you should go for a check-up earlier. The greatest risk factors include family history, cardiac arrhythmias, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, obesity, smoking, alcohol and other drugs, as well as stress and dehydration.

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