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It is important to phone 999 immediately for an ambulance if you suspect that either yourself, or someone else is suffering a stroke. Even if the symptoms seem to disappear as you wait for the arrival of the ambulance, whoever it was who displayed the symptoms of a stroke should still go to the hospital for an assessment.
If you or someone else has symptoms that quickly disappear, in less than 24 hours, it may mean you suffered a TIA (transient ischaemic attack). This may put you at higher risk of experiencing a full stroke in the future. Following an initial assessment, you might be required to be admitted to hospital in order to receive a more detailed, in-depth assessment, beginning specialist treatment if it is deemed necessary.
Symptoms and signs of a stroke will vary from person to person, but for all they will usually appear suddenly. Because different areas of the brain control different parts of the body, the symptoms one person experiences will depend on the area of the brain that is effected, and the overall extent of the damage.
Most people have seen the TV advertisement informing us of the signs of a stroke, and how to deal with the situation. The symptoms of a stroke being remembered using the word FAST (Face-Arms-Speech-Time):
It’s important for everyone to be aware of the symptoms and signs of a stroke. It may be particularly important if you care for, or live with someone who is recognised as a part of a high-risk group, such as the diabetic, elderly, or those with high blood pressure.
Even though the symptoms noted in FAST identify most strokes, on occasion a stroke can bring about different symptoms. Some other symptoms could include dizziness, unconsciousness, confusion, difficulty swallowing, sudden blurring or loss of vision, very severe headache, and complete paralysis of one side of the body.
There are usually other causes for these symptoms, such as a transient ischaemic attack, which is also referred to as a mini stroke. TIA symptoms are almost identical to a stroke, though tend to last only between a few minutes to a few hours before they completely disappear. Despite the fact that the symptoms improve, TIAs should never be disregarded, as they are a warning that there is an issue with blood supply to the brain, and means your risk of a future stroke is increased.
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