What is a stroke ?

A stroke happens when blood supply to the brain is interrupted. Blood is carried to the brain by blood vessels called arteries. Blood contains oxygen and important nutrients for your brain cells. Blood may be interrupted or stop moving through an artery, because the artery is blocked (ischaemic stroke) or bursts (haemorrhagic stroke). When brain cells do not get enough oxygen or nutrients, they die. The area of brain damage is called a cerebral infarct.

Treatment for stroke

If you or someone else experiences the signs of stroke, no matter how long they last, call triple zero (000) immediately.

Stroke is always a medical emergency. Getting fast treatment for stroke can be the difference between death, disability and a good recovery.

When you call triple zero (000), warn them it is a possible stroke when the ambulance is sent.

Reducing the risk of stroke

There are other early treatments you might receive to help you recover. For example, aspirin should be taken in the first 48 hours after stroke by all who had a stroke due to a clot (ischaemic stroke). Aspirin may also be taken long term to prevent another stroke.

Your health professionals will work with you to ensure you make the best recovery possible. Everyone progresses differently in the first few days after a stroke.

Some people will make a good recovery quite early in their stroke, while other people may make slower progress. Some people will suffer complications after their stroke, however most people will survive and go on to make improvements in their function.

This next stage of recovery and improvement is known as stroke rehabilitation.