Currently, the number of people who die or have sequelae from a Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke) is increasing rapidly. Moreover, the disease is also tending to be younger. Therefore, the prevention of Cerebrovascular Accident becomes more and more urgent. Please refer to the information below to understand more about this extremely dangerous disease.
According to the World Stroke Organization, Stroke is the most common life-threatening neurological disease. It is the second leading cause of death worldwide after cardiovascular diseases.
This is a disease with a high mortality rate and dangerous. This disease is mainly seen in elderly people with weak health, people with high blood pressure, etc. Currently, Cerebrovascular Accident tends to be younger, at the age of 40-45 or younger than the age of 20 can also occur.
According to statistics, in the US on average, the death rate is about 20% of patients in a month and a year is about 5 – 10% of patients. The ability to recover if the emergency is timely is high, but leaves many sequelae for the patient such as difficulty walking, paralysis, needing help from others in the process of living, etc.
1. What is Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke)?
A Cerebrovascular Accident or stroke is a sudden loss of blood flow to the brain. This phenomenon long-term will cause brain cells to die, which can leave serious sequelae and even lead to a high risk of death.
The disease is divided into two types, namely Cerebral Hemorrhage and Cerebral Infarction.
- Cerebral Infarction: A narrowing or blockage of an artery that prevents an area of the brain from receiving blood. From there, it leads to brain anemia, lack of oxygen for too long and brain death occurs.
- Cerebral Hemorrhage: When a blood vessel bursts, blood seeps into brain tissue, causing damage to brain cells.
2. Signs of a Stroke – Something Everyone Needs to Pay Attention to
Although a Cerebrovascular Accident is life-threatening, if you are detected and treated in time, the sequelae of the disease will be reduced and the recovery rate will increase.
Here are some signs of a Stroke you should pay attention to, especially in the elderly and often happen suddenly, such as:
- Language and Cognitive Disorders: Patients present with forgetfulness, confusion, slurred speech, difficulty speaking or difficulty hearing or understanding.
- Paralysis or Numbness in the Face, Arms or Legs: Sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis of muscles in the face, arms or legs; Usually occurs on one side of the body. When the patient raises both arms above the head at the same time, if one arm does not hold and falls naturally, it may be a Stroke. The same goes for when one side of the mouth is distorted when trying to smile.
- Vision Disturbances in One or Both Eyes: Sudden blindness in one or both eyes or blurred vision.
- Headache: Sudden severe headache, accompanied by vomiting, dizziness, impaired consciousness.
The patient may suddenly stumble when walking on level roads, or suddenly become dizzy, lose balance or lose the ability to coordinate movements …
Among the above manifestations, the symptoms of brain damage are said to be the most obvious and severe. Patients have symptoms of lethargy, lightheadedness or coma, urinary and bowel incontinence, paralysis or damage to the cranial nerves, especially the sixth nerve.
When comatose, people with Cerebrovascular Accident often have a deep and severe coma, accompanied by some manifestations such as pale face, loud breathing, difficulty swallowing, loss of corneal and pupil reflexes.
3. How to Prevent a Stroke (Cerebral Stroke)?
Cerebrovascular Accident can leave extremely dangerous complications for patients. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the prevention of Stroke. In particular, nutrition and lifestyle have a great impact on the prevention of pathogens. Adopting a healthy lifestyle also helps prevent Stroke risk in the elderly. In general, a healthy lifestyle means:
3.1. Control High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Hypertension is very common in the elderly. High blood pressure increases the risk of cardiovascular complications (Stroke, coronary and peripheral vascular disease). The goal of treatment is to achieve a blood pressure reading below 140/90 mmHg.
Always keep your blood pressure under control, exercise regularly. Limit the amount of sodium and alcohol, beer, have a reasonable diet.
The principle of using antihypertensive drugs is to start with a low-dose drug or a combination of low-dose drugs to both achieve therapeutic effect and reduce side effects.
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3.2. Good Treatment of Diabetes
High blood sugar is also a major risk factor for large atherosclerotic plaques and blood loss to the brain. Hypercholesterolemia, along with hypertriglyceridemia, is also often associated with Cerebrovascular Accident. Too much red blood cell count in the blood can also cause ischemic attack or cerebral infarction.
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3.3. Treatment of Dyslipidemia
People over 45 years of age should have their blood lipids checked periodically, including total cholesterol, LDL-C, triglycerides and HDL-C, after fasting for 10-12 hours. Blood lipids should be checked periodically every 6-12 months.
Lower dietary cholesterol and saturated fat: Eat less cholesterol and fat, especially saturated and trans fats. They can reduce plaque in the arteries. If cholesterol cannot be controlled through dietary changes, statins such as simvastatin (Zocor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), or a cholesterol-lowering drug may be used. These are drugs that are used to prevent disease. Besides, the way to prevent Cerebrovascular Accident is also often mentioned is not to use stimulants, and to have a reasonable and scientific diet.
Drug therapy must be combined with lifestyle therapy. The dose is gradually increased until the target LDL-C concentration is reached.
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3.4. Exercise Regularly and Prevent Obesity
Exercise can lower blood pressure and raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. And improve the overall health of blood vessels and heart. Regular exercise also helps reduce diabetes, control weight and relieve stress.
Being overweight combined with other risk factors increases the risk of Stroke. Such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Patients should eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. A diet containing more fruits or vegetables in the daily diet in addition to providing the body with energy also helps reduce the risk of Stroke. This is a simple way to prevent Cerebrovascular Accidents but brings many beneficial effects to the body.
3.5. No Smoking
Smoking is very harmful to health, increases the risk of Stroke. Therefore, patients should quit smoking and limit the use of other stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, beer…
4. What to Do When There are Signs of a Stroke?
When you notice that a patient shows the above symptoms, you need to take them to the emergency room as soon as possible. Even the time to save the patient’s life now is only minutes.
Some first aid methods for Stroke patients:
- Carefully observe the patient’s condition to report to the medical staff. This will be very important information to save the patient.
- The patient should be kept in a cool place and the patient’s pillow should be 30 to 45 degrees high.
- Loosen the patient’s clothing.
- In case of vomiting, the patient’s head should be tilted to one side, to avoid sputum dripping into the nose or lungs.
- If the patient has a convulsion, it is necessary to put a chopstick between the patient’s teeth to prevent the patient from biting the tongue during the convulsion.
Need to quickly call for help from people around, and at the same time call the hotline or go to the nearest medical facility for support as soon as possible. Do not let the patient eat or drink any food because it will make the patient easy to choke and suffocate.
A stroke is an urgent medical emergency. Therefore, when detecting signs, it is necessary to immediately transfer the patient to the nearest medical facility, which will help reduce the rate of death and disability.
If emergency treatment is given at the right time of the golden hour (first 3 – 4.5 hours) with intravenous thrombolytic drugs, or in the first 6 hours of applying thrombectomy with mechanical devices for patients with Cerebral Infarction, will limit the sequelae as high.
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