Causes of Stroke

Stroke is one of the top 5 causes of death and a major cause of disability.  A stroke occurs when part of the brain cannot get blood (and oxygen) supply resulting in death of the brain cells causing loss of body function like speech, vision or muscle movement.   Strokes can be classified as Ischemic stroke (85%) which is caused by blood vessel blockage due to atherosclerosis or embolus or Haemorrhagic stroke (15%) caused by internal bleeding due to a brain aneurysm or trauma.  

Risk Factors

Click to view Mass General Brigham video on Stroke; causes, risk factors and treatment

How to recognise the Signs of Stroke

The early signs of a stroke can be easily remember using this acronym FAST.  Do NOT wait for the symptoms to go away or take any unnecessary medication.  Either call for an ambulance or take the person to the nearest hospital with the facilities to treat stroke.  

  • Facial muscle weakness on 1 side
  • Arm (and/or leg) weakness on 1 side
  • Slurred speech or drooping mouth with difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Time to call an Ambulance or take them to a Hospital

Early Management of Stroke

Hospitals with stroke treatment facilities may be able to offer emergency treatment provided the patient is seen within a few hours after the onset of stroke.  TIME is crucial because every minute the brain is deprived of oxygen, will mean more brain cell death which cannot be reversed.  The treatment options include;

  • Clot-busting medication using rTPA should be done with 4.5 hours
  • Clot removal procedures (known as thrombectomy) should be done within 24 hours

Click to view Cleveland Clinic video on Mechanical Thrombectomy


Ask your doctor if you need to take anti-coagulation medication (known as blood thinning drugs) if you are at risk of developing a stroke

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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