Stroke, thrombosis or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is the name that receives the sudden interruption of blood supply in some part of the brain. This involvement of the blood vessels can have irreversible consequences and has already become the third cause of death, after heart disease and cancer. It is essential to recognize a stroke in order to perform a quick action with the necessary medical treatment. Therefore, in ututilis.com, we want to explain what are the symptoms of stroke in detail.
Types of Strokes
There are two types of strokes:
- Ischemic stroke: occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain, preventing its passage. It can also happen because the arteries clog up thanks to the accumulation of fat and cholesterol in them. Thrombosis and embolism enter this type of stroke.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: occurs when a blood vessel in our brain breaks, causing a hemorrhage in the area that prevents the proper flow of blood. Aneurysms are part of this type of stroke.
Knowing the symptoms of a stroke is important to detect when a person is suffering or has suffered a serious stroke. However, it is necessary to take into account that these signals can vary depending on the area of the affected brain and that sometimes someone can suffer a stroke without even noticing it.
Normally patients who suffer a stroke present the symptoms in a sudden and intense way, however, there are cases in which these signs can evolve with the passage of time, becoming more intense.
The most characteristic symptom of a stroke is a sudden headache that begins without warning and intensely. These discomforts increase severely when the patient is lying down or when making a sudden movement such as coughing or crouching.
It is the typical symptom in cases of hemorrhagic stroke.
Symptoms of Stroke
1. Weakness in members
A typical sign of stroke is the sudden asymmetric weakness of the limbs. Generally, the lack of strength attacks an arm, a leg or an arm and a leg on only one side of the body. The loss of motor force can vary from a very soft weakness to total paralysis. A sudden and unilateral motor disability is typical.
It is not common in the ACV both legs or both arms to be attacked at the same time, with the same intensity. Numbness, tingling or a sensation of slight pinpricks of needles may also be present.
Paralysis, or almost paralysis, is easily identifiable by the patient and his family members. The difficulty arises when the loss of strength is discrete. In this case, a simple test can be done. Lift your arms and keep them for a few seconds aligned to the shoulders (mummy position or sleepwalker). If one of the arms begin to fall involuntarily, there is a strong indication of motor weakness. The same test can be done with the legs; just sit and lift your legs, leaving your knees stretched.
Paralysis of the limbs usually emerges quickly, but may only begin with tingling and slight weakness, evolving to an evident loss of strength only after a few hours.
2. Facial asymmetry
Unilateral facial paralysis is another typical sign of stroke.
The deviation of the mouth in the opposite direction to the paralyzed side is the most common and perceptible sign. Notice the figure on the side. This patient presents with facial paralysis on the left side. Note that the mouth deviates to the right side and the labial commissure (common Chinese mustache) disappears to the left, becoming more prominent to the right.
In the ACV, paralysis usually preserves the upper half of the face, the patient being able to tighten the forehead and raise the eyebrows. This clue is important because, in Bell’s palsy, a condition caused by inflammation of the facial nerve, the patient’s entire face is paralyzed.
Other signs and symptoms that speak in favor of a stroke, and not Bell’s palsy, are the loss of strength in other areas of the body, such as limbs, speech disturbances, loss of vision, imbalances or any other typical symptom. Associated ACV. Bell’s palsy only and exclusively faces the face.
In some cases, facial paralysis is more discreet and may go unnoticed by family members. A clue to see if the mouth is deflected is to ask the patient to smile or whistle. If there is paralysis, this will be easily noticed with these maneuvers.
3. Alterations of speech
Another typical sign of stroke is the alteration of speech and speech. The patient with CVA can present a range of disturbances that, in the end, are characterized by a difficulty in speaking. The two most common alterations are aphasia and dysarthria.
Aphasia is the patient’s inability to name objects and things. The patient can not speak normally because he can not say simple names such as colors, numbers, and objects. In some cases, the patient is not even able to repeat a word said by a relative. Depending on the aphasia, the patient can get to think about the object, understand its meaning, but simply does not know how to say its name. It is a loss of verbal language. The speech can be confusing given that the patient only manages to say a few words, being unable to say others.
Many times the patient also fails to write the name of these objects. There are types of aphasia in which the patient stops understanding what some words mean, he can not speak, he does not understand people and he can not understand what is written. In this case, the patient loses language ability globally.
Dysarthria is another disturbance of speech and is presented as a difficulty in articulating words. The patient understands everything but lacks motor skills to move the muscles of speech in order to articulate the words correctly. The patient manages to name things, but he does it in a convoluted way, sometimes incomprehensible to the one who is listening.
4. Mental confusion
An alteration of speech can also occur due to disorientation and mental confusion. The patient may lose track of time, not knowing how to say the year or the month we are. You may also be disoriented spatially, not recognizing the place where you are. These alterations are common in small CVA in the elderly. Multiple small ACV can lead to dementia.
5. Alterations in the march
The patient with CVA may have difficulty walking. This alteration of the gait can be caused by imbalances, by the diminution of the strength in one of the legs or even by alterations in the motor coordination responsible for the act of walking. In this last case, the patient maintains the strength preserved in the lower limbs, but walks in an uncoordinated way and has difficulty in taking steps.
There are cases in which the stroke can cause dizziness, making the patient unable to walk around being silly. However, the most common is the patient does not feel dizzy, but still has no balance when walking. In reality, the patient may not get or stand up, falling to the sides if he does not have support.
6. Convulsive crisis
Some cases of stroke are manifested as seizures, which are generalized motor tremors associated with loss of consciousness. The seizure may be one of the symptoms of stroke, but it can also be a sequel. Some patients become epileptic after a stroke.
A sign of the severity of the ACV is the reduction of the level of consciousness, sometimes not about to go into a coma. Loss of consciousness is usually a symptom of extensive stroke or hemorrhagic stroke. It is a sign of a not so favorable prognosis.
Brief test to recognize a Stroke
1. Ask the person you suspect might be affected by a smiley spill. If by doing it one side of your face or mouth is down, it is a sign of attack.
2. Ask the person to close their eyes and raise their arms for 30 seconds, if they have a stroke, the affected and weaker arm tends to fall slowly, while the unaffected arm remains elevated.
3. Have the person repeat a phrase, say his or her full name, or answer simple questions (such as your address). If it is detected that it speaks weird or it drags the voice, it is another sign.
How to act
1. If the person suffers one or all of the symptoms, it is necessary to take it immediately to an assistance center or call an emergency service, clarifying that the patient is presumed to have suffered a stroke.
2. While awaiting the arrival of the ambulance, lay the patient down with one or more pillows. The person must be placed on their side.
3. Do not give the patient ANY type of medication, liquids or food.