health. Stroke: These are the signs that should alert you

health. Stroke: These are the signs that should alert you

Stroke affects more than 110,000 people each year in France. A stroke can be fatal and cause serious consequences if not treated in time. Here are the symptoms that should alert you.

More and more patients suffer from strokes. At least 110,000 people are hospitalized for strokes each year in France. To ensure prompt treatment and reduce the consequences of strokes, it is necessary to know how to recognize the symptoms immediately. Dr. Anne Ferrer, MD, runs the Neurovascular Unit at Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital. On World Stroke Day, October 29, we asked her about the symptoms of stroke. Refers to: “There are no warning signs. When the first signs appear, they come on very suddenly, without warning.” Here’s what you need to know about strokes.

  • A sudden loss of strength in an arm, a leg, or the entire side is called hemiplegia
  • The corner of the mouth that falls
  • Sudden loss of vision in one eye: completely black vision
  • Sudden loss of speech: impossibility of speech, impossibility of answering the questions asked of us, incomprehensible language …

If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or in a third party, you should immediately contact SAMU, Dr. Ferrer explains: “ Above all, don’t say “I’ll wait and see what happens,” because it can get worse during this time. It is necessary to do 15 immediately even if symptoms return to the system. For example, if you notice paralysis in your arm or leg, even if it lasts for a minute and there is nothing left after that, you should still call 15.” The patient encounters a medical organization assistant who asks him questions, particularly about his background and the treatments he is receiving: “Then, the organizing physician or medical organizing assistant will operate a transport: it could be an ambulance or firefighters who come to pick up the patient. The big advantage of calling 15 over 18, for example, is that the medical dispatcher will warn all hospital teams that will arrive. He’ll prevent emergencies, he’ll warn the radiologist to get a scan or an MRI quickly and the neurologists of course.” Explains Anne Ferrer.

For clinicians, the challenge will be to very quickly differentiate the two types of stroke:In 80% of cases it is a stroke or heart attack. It’s exactly the same mechanism as the heart, it’s an artery that gets clogged by a clot. In 20% of cases, it can be hemorrhage, hemorrhage within the cerebral artery. Therefore, the medical team performs a CT scan or an MRI scan to be able to determine the type of stroke and thus adapt the treatment to be administered ‘It will be completely different one way or another’Determines the neurologist.

Dr. Ferrier explains: “There is no treatment today that you can administer to stop the bleeding. The only treatment is to control the blood pressure, to make sure the stress does not increase too much.”

Much progress has been made, according to Dr. Anne Ferrer: “The treatment is done either by infusion of the drug, intravenously, what is called thrombolysis. It is a drug that destroys the clot. When the clot is large or on a large artery, this is associated with a mechanical gesture. It is called mechanical thrombectomy and allows passage through the internal vessels to remove the clot.

Anne Ferrer alert: In the case of a stroke, every minute counts. “It is estimated that 2 million neurons are lost per minute when an artery is clogged. It is clearly necessary to move as quickly as possible to reduce the size of the affected brain area and to be able to intervene quickly to restore flow or, in the context of bleeding, to try to stop the bleeding.

Anyone can have a stroke, even the youngest. But there are people for whom the risks are higher, those who have risk factors for cardiovascular disease.”Dr. Ferrer explains.

Here are the most common risk factors:

  • High blood pressure: not more than 9/14
  • cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • Tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Association of a sedentary lifestyle, overweight and/or lack of physical activity
  • Arrhythmia

Delayed treatment presents a risk of death: Mortality rate is 10% in the first month. The neurologist explains. It also warns of the risk of disability: More than half of patients will have sequelae from a stroke, but for some, it will be sequelae that are not motor sequelae. You can also have an invisible disability, ie extreme tiredness, problems concentrating … On the other hand, you can have a greater disability, especially physical, for example persistent paralysis or paraplegia that significantly limits independence. The consequences depend on the size and affected area of ​​the brain.

Prevention includes screening for and treating risk factors, according to Dr. Ferrer: “We know that half of the people with high blood pressure don’t know it, and of those who know and who are getting treatment, there are still half that are not well balanced. Managing high blood pressure is a huge problem.” The French Public Health Authority recommends cblood pressure controlAnger is healthyCholesterol control5 years old and physically active.

The incidence of strokes is only increasing, particularly due to the aging population. The Department of Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital receives just over 700 patients each year. In Auvergne, there are approximately 3,500 strokes per year.

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