Every 4 minutes, a person suffers a stroke in France. We must act at the first warning signs by calling 15 to increase the chances of survival and improve recovery. Here are the warning signs.
A Stroke occurs every 4 minutes in France, recalls the French Neurovascular Society on the occasion of the World Stroke Day celebrated on October 29 2022. In 140,000 stroke victims each year in France, approximately 30,000 die. All ages are affected by a stroke. Close 25% of strokes occur before the age of 65. and the number of strokes between 35 and 64 years old increases. As a reminder, stroke occurs in the brain when a the blood vessel is blocked (80% of cases) or breaks and causes bleeding (twenty%). Loss of sight in one eyethe mobility of an arm, difficulty speaking out loud… Here are the warning signs with Pr. Sonia Alamowitch, Head of the Cerebrovascular Emergency Service of the Salpetriere Hospital (Paris, AP-HP).
How long before stroke do symptoms occur?
Stroke is manifested by sudden neurological symptoms. “Is a important feature. Loss of neurological function sets in suddenly, from one second to another or for a few minutes, sometimes for a few hours but suddenly” insists our interlocutor.
What are the 4 types of neurological symptoms of stroke?
The signs of stroke are related to the lack of blood supply to the brain. we identify 4 types of sudden neurological symptoms :
1. Loss of mobility, typically in a hemibody (complete or partial). For example, the person cannot raise the arm, can no longer move the arm or leg, and has a crooked (complete) face, or is partially able to lift the limb but feels heaviness, with muscle weakness in the arm, leg, and crooked mouth.
2. Sudden loss of language (aphasia) : the person has difficulty expressing himself or even cannot do it at all, he does not say any words or only partially or he manages to form some words but it is very difficult, he has lost his vocabulary. “In the language disorder there can also be understanding: people speak to me but I no longer understand anything” says Professor Alamowitch.
3. Sudden vision loss : either the person no longer sees anything at all (total darkness), or can only see from one side. She can feel like vision fog abrupt installation.
4. Sudden loss of balance : the person walks as if he were drunk, with a significant imbalance (ataxia) when he has not drunk anything.
The victim of a stroke does not necessarily show all of these symptoms: “It is variable, it can be a type of symptom (mobility, eye, editor’s note), sometimes a combination, more or less severe, for example right hemiplegia with loss of language” explains the doctor. Knowing that the left part of the brain controls the right part of the body and vice versa. “The area of the left brain that controls movement on the right side is located near the language area, if the stroke occurs in this area, the person can no longer move the right side and can no longer speak.
Can a headache be a symptom of a stroke?
Yes. “A very brutal, sudden, completely unusual headache like we have never felt, can witness a stroke related to subarachnoid hemorrhage” Professor Alamowitch replies. Subarachnoid hemorrhage is different from intracerebral hemorrhage. Characterizes the rupture of a blood vessel in the meninges surrounding the brain while “cerebral” hemorrhage occurs within the brain. Of the 20% of hemorrhages responsible for strokes, around 5% are meningeal hemorrhages and 15% brain hemorrhages.
Are stroke symptoms different in children?
“Stroke in children is an exceptional situation and can be really difficult to recognize. The child has difficulty moving, is downcast. In adolescents, as in adults or the elderly, it is the loss of a neurological function (language, movement, editor’s note) that alerts us”, replies our interlocutor. In figures, less than 1% of strokes occur in people under 18 years of age. More than half the time, it is not diagnosed right away.
“Whether the stroke comes with severe or less severe symptoms, you need to call 15, the Samu.”
Are stroke symptoms different in women?
Women are among the first victims of a stroke. “They live longer. Age increases the risk of suffering a stroke, the weight of stroke is greater in them” explains the doctor. Have specific risk factors such ascombination of the pill, smoking and migraine ; stroke risk periods that are the pregnancy or after menopause ; depression and psychosocial stress to which women are more exposed than men. “There is no data from the literature showing that there are different symptoms of stroke in women, butWomen tend to be less attentive to themselves and more to others, and therefore less alert.“ Professor Alamowitch comments.
What to do in case of stroke symptoms?
Call 15 immediately. “Whether stroke presents with severe or less severe symptoms, it is still an absolute emergency. Mild symptoms can get worse very quickly. You must alert by immediately calling SAMU at 15. By yourself or if you witness a stroke” insists the specialist. From this call comes support. “Do not call the treating doctor, this can waste precious minutes. To treat a stroke, you need to know if it is due to a blocked or ruptured artery. Only the brain scan (MRI or scan) can tell and this examination should be performed urgently in the hospital.“ Via Samu, the patient will be taken in a neurovascular care unit specialized in stroke. “In treating a stroke, blood flow needs to be restored as quickly as possible to limit the effects on the brain, explains the Pr Igor Sibon, President of the SFNV and Head of the Department of Neurology-CHU of Bordeaux. Every minute saved is 2 million neurons saved and fewer weeks of rehabilitation for the patient who will be able to reconnect more quickly with their loved ones and their previous life. Thanks to early management that allowed the administration of reperfusion treatments (thrombolysis or thrombectomy), today it is 1 out of 2 patients who are completely cured.”
Thanks to Pr. Sonia Alamowitch, Head of the Cerebrovascular Emergency Service at Hospital Salpetriere (Paris, AP-HP) Source: World Stroke Day October 29, 2022 Stroke: every minute counts. Press release, SFNV.
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