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Stroke is the third most common cause of death in the UK and the most common cause of severe disabilities in adults. An estimated 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke within a year.

A stroke is a brain injury where the blood supply to the brain is suddenly cut off. This means that the blood can not reach a particular part of the brain which then becomes damaged.

Types of stroke – The Stroke Association

You can recognise whether someone has had a stroke or TIA (transient ischaemic attack) using three main checks.

Face – Arm – Speech - Test (FAST)

  • F - Facial weakness: Can the person smile? Has their eye or mouth dropped?
  • A - Arm weakness: Can the person raise both arms?
  • S - Speech problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
  • T - Time to call 999 immediately.

A stroke is a medical emergency. The sooner someone receives treatment the better their chance of recovery. Early treatment can be given which can prevent further brain damage.

Preventing a stroke

Some people are more at risk than others of having a stroke. Some factors can not be changed (i.e. age, ethnic origin, genes) but some simple life changes may help prevent a stroke from happening. Changes in life style could include healthy eating, becoming more active, moderating your alcohol intake, stopping smoking.

Preventing a stroke – The Stroke Association
Stroke prevention – NHS Choices

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust’s hyper acute stroke unit (HASU) is at Wycombe Hospital serving patients across Buckinghamshire and East Berkshire. This is supported by acute stroke services at Wycombe and Wexham Park hospitals.

HASU offers intensive care, rehabilitation and therapy for three days following a stroke which is vital in ensuring positive outcomes. The service offers 24/7 access to Thrombolysis, which ensures patients have access to a life-saving injection that is used to disperse blood clots, reducing damage in the early stages of a stroke.

For further information, please call 0300 330 0761 or email bucksstrokesupport@stroke.org.uk.

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