What is stroke

Stroke is a brain attack – the brain equivalent of a heart attack.

It occurs if the

  • blood supply to the brain is blocked (ischemic stroke), or if a
  • blood vessel in the brain is ruptured (hemorrhagic stroke).

When either of these things happen brain cells begin to die or are at risk of damage.

If you or your loved ones have experienced stroke you will know that its consequences can be significant and life shattering.

Stroke can affect anyone at anytime

  • This year 14.5 million people will have a stroke, 5.5 million people will die as a result.
  • 80 million people have survived stroke worldwide.

Stroke is a serious illness

  • Stroke can rob people of their identity and independence.
  • Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in industrialized countries.

Stroke is a medical emergency

  • Stroke is a medical emergency and must be treated as such.
  • The sooner stroke victims receive treatment, the better their chance of recovery.

If stroke is suspected, call the medical emergency services URGENTLY!

James was 67-years-old when he had a stroke. Prompt action helped him achieve full recovery.

“My mother had suffered a stroke so I knew the symptoms. I didn’t have high blood pressure like her so didn’t think I was at risk of stroke. However, I was in mid-sentence when the words just stopped coming. The shop assistant recognized I was suffering a stroke and dialed the emergency line straight away. When the paramedics came I was paralyzed down my right side. It was frightening and I could feel myself getting worse. Fortunately I’ve managed to make a full recovery over time. During my stroke assessment the doctors found out that my cholesterol was high. I’m now on medication to control it and make sure that I keep a healthy weight by eating healthily and exercising regularly. I look after my health more than I did before. I don’t want another stroke – it was a real wake up call for me.”


World Stroke Day Campaign: Why stroke matters

The Stroke Association UK. Leaflet: What is stroke?

World Health Organization: Global burden of stroke