World Stroke Day – 29 October 2021

A stroke is effectively when blood flow or oxygen has been cut off from your brain for a period of time causing a degree of permanent neural damage. There are two types of strokes. The more common Ischemic Stroke due to a blockage/thrombus in your arteries or veins. Hemorrhagic Stroke when a vein or artery has ruptured and has resulted in a bleed in the brain.

 Strokes can be caused by a couple of things namely high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol etc.

 Use the acronym FAST to check for signs of a stroke:

Face – drooping of one side of the face

Arm – one arm weakens or numbs

Speech – distorted speech, talking gibberish or being unable to find words

Time – The faster you can get to the hospital after the symptoms start, the more of the brain can be saved; the first 3 hours after onset of the symptoms are crucial.

 There are medical treatments during the first few hours and first days after the stroke; if the symptoms have not sufficiently subsided, the patient will go to a rehabilitation center for rehabilitation treatment. These rehab programs can last anything between 2 and 12 weeks. The rehabilitation team (Speech/Swallow Therapist, Physiotherapist & Occupational Therapist) is involved from the admission of the patient to the acute hospital such as Medi-Clinic Nelspruit or Kiaat Hospital and all the way through to when they go over to the rehab hospital such as M-Care Nelspruit.

 Prevention is always better than cure, things you can do to minimize the risk of a stroke are make sure you check and regulate your blood pressure, sugar levels and cholesterol levels. Exercise regularly, stop smoking and drink enough water (2 liters/day).



Article supplied by

STEPMED Rehab (Pty) Ltd

1 Weber Street, Nelspruit

Tel: 013 741 4911

Fax: 086 542 2038