Stroke 101

What is Stroke?

A stroke is a “brain attack” which occurs when blood flow to an area in the brain is cut off. The brain cells, deprived of the oxygen and glucose needed to survive, die. If a stroke is not caught early, permanent brain damage or death can result.

Types of Strokes

Ischemic Stroke 

This is the most common stroke – about 74% of all strokes in Singapore. Ischemic stroke is similar to a heart attack but occurs in the brain instead. This stroke occurs due to:

  • clots forming in the brain’s blood vessels or other blood vessels leading to the brain. These clots block blood flow to the brain.
  • clogging of brain’s blood vessels when there is too much plaque (fatty deposits and cholesterol)

Hemorrhagic Stroke

This is the second most common form of stroke which occurs when blood vessels in the brain breaks or ruptures. When this happens, blood seeps into the tissues of the brain, causing damage to the surrounding cells.

Hemorrhagic Strokes are commonly caused by high blood pressure and brain aneurysms (weakness or thinness in the blood vessel wall).

Symptoms

F.A.S.T Test - Stroke Symptoms

It is extremely vital to be able to quickly recognise the signs of stroke. The F.A.S.T test is an easy technique used to recognise and remember the most common signs of stroke. Other symptoms include difficulty in swallowing, dizziness, severe headache, – usually described as the “worst headache ever had” – confusion or numbness.

Risk Factors 

About 4 in 10 people will suffer a repeated stroke experience within 10 years. However, poor control over risk factors will increase the chance of a repeated occurrence.  

Controllable Risk Factors

Non-controllable Risk Factors

Age

The risk of stroke increases with age. This is because our arteries narrow and harden as we age

Family history

If your relative (e.g. parent, sibling) has had a stroke, your risk may be slightly higher

Genetic conditions

Certain rare genetic conditions can increase the risk of stroke. Your doctor will be able to advise you if you have one, and what to take note of.

Stroke is the largest cause of long-term physical disability or limited mobility in Singapore. With a rapidly ageing population, the burden of stroke is expected to increase exponentially in the none too distant future, posing challenges to the healthcare system and society.

How can Jaga-Me Help?

If you know someone with stroke and would like them to recover at the comforts of their own home, Jaga-Me provides professional stroke care for your loved one. If you need personalised caregiver training, you can simply ask our nurses! We will assess the condition of the patient and provide you a personalised care plan on how to care for her.

Award winning Home Care trusted by health professionals – Jaga-Me

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