Skip to Content
After heart disease and cancer, strokes are Scotland’s third biggest killer, but it no longer just affects the elderly. Increasingly younger people are suffering strokes and Dr Debbie Wake joined The Hour to help raise awareness of the symptoms.
Strokes are already the biggest cause of disability in Scotland but this is on the increase and nobody is certain why. With many Scots suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and weight issues it is suspected that these may be a factor.
Wendy Kerr was only 41 when she suffered a stroke. Originally she was taken to hospital after a Transient IschaemicAttack (TIA) or “mini stroke”, which lasts for only a short time as the blood supply to the brain is changed by a clot.
Doctors found a hole in her heart, but before it could be treated she suffered a proper stroke. Fortunately she worked for the NHS and knew the signs. An ambulance took her to hospital where she was treated with thrombolysis for the clot. The hole in her heart was then repaired and she made a full recovery.
There are others however who weren’t so lucky, largely because a stroke at first doesn’t seem that serious. As Wendy pointed out, there is no wound and the pain isn’t that great. A lot of people just ignore it and hope it will go away.
There has been a recent campaign to raise awareness of stroke symptoms, with a slogan that’s easy to remember: FAST.
The ‘F’ stands for ‘face’. Is the face drooping? Can the person grin?
The ‘A’ stands for ‘arms’. Can the person lift both arms and hold them out in front of them?
The ‘S’ stands for ‘speech’. Are you able to understand the person? Can they understand you?
The ‘T’ stands for ‘time’. If the person is suffering all or some of these symptoms then it’s time to call an ambulance.
A stroke need not be fatal and the effects aren’t necessarily permanent, but it needs to be treated quickly.
ASK THE DR