Please click on one of the following links for more information on our stroke services:
A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Like all organs, the brain needs oxygen and nutrients which are provided by the blood so that it can function properly. If this supply of blood is restricted or stopped, then brain cells begin to die. This can lead to brain damage and possibly death.
Strokes are the third most common cause of death, and the most common cause of acquired adult disability. There are around 900,000 stroke survivors living in England, half of whom are dependent on their carers for everyday activities.
Strokes are a medical emergency so rapid diagnosis is vital and prompt treatment is essential, because the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen. Treatment includes medication to reduce risk factors which could result in further strokes, as well as acute care and rehabilitation.
The Stroke Association’s FAST test can help to decide when someone is having a stroke:
Facial weakness – can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
Arm weakness – can the person raise both arms?
Speech problems – can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
Time to call 999
Visit this link for more information With a stroke, you need to act FAST
Changes to your lifestyle can help prevent you from having a stroke. Healthy lifestyle steps that you can take to help reduce your risk of having a stroke include:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Taking regular exercise
- Drinking alcohol in moderation
- Not smoking.
If you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, your Doctor can give you medications to treat these, which also greatly lowers the risk of stroke.
Also, if you have an irregular heartbeat (sometimes called "Atrial Fibrillation") and other conditions that place you at high risk of a stroke, your Doctor may be able to prescribe a drug called warfarin which can lower your risk.
A 'mini-stroke' or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA), which is the medical term, happens when there is a temporary fall in the blood supply to part of the brain. This leads to a lack of oxygen to the brain and can cause symptoms that are similar to a stroke, but the individual fully recovers very quickly. It is this full recovery that makes it a TIA rather than a stroke.
A TIA lasts only a short time and is always fully resolved within 24 hours. Most resolve in one hour after the attack.
A TIA is a medical emergency. It should be treated seriously and you should visit your GP immediately as it is often a warning sign that a stroke is coming. If you think that you or someone else has had a TIA you can do the FAST test for the symptoms.
When you visit your GP with a suspected TIA, your GP will do a special test called the ABCD2 score to check your symptoms. There is a special clinic that runs four days a week at Pinderfields Hospital for suspected TIAs. Your GP will refer you to it.
Without treatment there is a one in 10 chance that you will have a full stroke within four weeks of having a TIA.
The exact number of people that have a TIA every year is unknown as many people don't realise they have had one. But it is thought that around one in every 1,000 people suffers a TIA each year. This equates to more than 50,000 TIAs each year.
All suspected strokes from patients anywhere in Wakefield District (including Dewsbury and Pontefract) who are brought by ambulance, should go to Pinderfields Hospital for their acute assessment and management. They will be seen first in the A&E/ED and then taken to the Stroke Unit once the stroke is confirmed. Most people will need a CT scan of their brain to see what type of stroke they have had.
Any inpatient who needs further inpatient rehabilitation will be transferred to Dewsbury and Distrrict Hospital or Pontefract Hospital.
If patients arrive at Dewsbury and District Hospital or Pontefract Hospital A&E/ED first, they will be assessed and a decision made as to whether or not they should be taken to the Pinderfields Stroke Unit.
Patients with TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack or ‘mini stroke’) are seen as Outpatients following a referral from their GP or from the A&E/E D. This service is available at Pinderfields Hospital for all patients in the District.
For general information about stroke and stroke care, please call 01924 542480.
NHS Wakefield District's website has a very informative section about Stroke. Please visit here for more information:
You may also find the following downloadable leaflets helpful: