Along with a heart attack, stroke is one of the most common causes of death in industrialized countries.
root cause. A stroke is caused by a lack of blood supply to the brain. Deposition (arteriosclerosis), a blood clot (thrombus) or constipation (embolism) often results in narrowing or occlusion of one or more blood vessels. Rarely, a crack (accident or calcification) in a vessel can trigger a stroke. As a result, there is reduced blood flow to the brain, with the consequence of a lack of oxygen in the brain cells. If the condition persists for more than a few minutes, the affected brain cells begin to die. A stroke is an acute life-threatening illness and must be treated immediately with a Stroke Unit in a hospital.
Risk factors include nicotine consumption, chronic high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes mellitus, chronic high blood cholesterol. Increasing age and genetic disposition also play an important role.
The main symptoms of a stroke are sudden, very severe headaches, paralysis, speech and vision problems.
StrokeUnits are special stations of hospitals providing maximum care. They have the necessary equipment and specially trained staff. Immediate computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirms whether it is a stroke or not. Early treatment on a StrokeUnit prevents the likelihood of permanent damage and lowers mortality.
A stroke caused by a vascular occlusion requires immediate medicinal thrombolysis. This tries to open the lock again. A drug is introduced into the bloodstream that contains enzymes that break down the thrombus (vascular occlusion). Above a certain size of the blood clot, an attempt is made to remove it by means of a catheter (thrombectomy).
If the stroke is caused by bleeding in the brain, the first step is to stop the bleeding with medication. If this is not possible or if the pressure in the skull is too high, the skullcap is opened with an emergency operation and the pressure is relieved.
Once the causes of the stroke have been remedied, the person affected is permanently monitored on the StrokeUnit. The StrokeUnit has a whole team of doctors from various specialties at its disposal.
Depending on how quickly and well the initial measures have been taken and how quickly the person concerned has been transferred to a StrokeUnit, the person concerned can be affected from minor impairments to serious physical and mental health problems. The earlier a stroke is treated properly, the greater the chances that the extent of the consequential damage can be kept low.