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Stroke health centre

Stroke overview

Around 152,000 people in the UK have a stroke every year. Stroke is brain damage caused by a blocked blood vessel or bleeding in the brain. Stroke can kill a person, or cause disability. The signs of a stroke can include weakness, numbness, blurred vision, confusion, and slurred speech. Getting to hospital and receiving treatment quickly is vital as stroke is a medical emergency.

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Stroke: Causes, symptoms and prevention

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a life-threatening medical emergency that happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.

The blood supply may be cut off by a blood clot or from a burst blood vessel.

A person having a stroke may lose control over their movement, perception and speech. They may also lose consciousness.

Prompt hospital treatment is essential for stroke survival.

Clots near the brain

Over 80% of all strokes are due to blockage of the oxygen-rich blood flowing to the brain. Called ischaemic strokes, they are triggered by either a thrombus, which is a stationary clot that forms in a blood vessel, or an embolus, a clot that travels through the bloodstream and becomes lodged in a vessel.

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