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CardioCare Takes Strokes Seriously

Stroke Awareness Month is officially in May, and Stroke Awareness Day is in October, but at CardioCare, we take stroke awareness seriously every day. Strokes are a dangerous medical accident that require fast and immediate response after they occur, but our team of expert cardiologists, vascular specialists, nurses, and support staff firmly believe that the best medicine for any problem -including strokes, is prevention so will always recognise and support those striving for a healthy heart and body.

Preventing Stroke

Those with a higher risk of stroke include people with a personal or family history of heart disease, patients with high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, high stress or anxiety, smokers, and those over the age of 50.

If you're at risk (and even if you're not), stroke prevention is most often a case of lifestyle changes such as improving your diet to one that is rich in fruits and vegetables, low in fat and salt, and high in fibre. Regular exercise is also recommended, although the duration and intensity of your exercise routine should be discussed with a doctor as this will depend on your current health, strength, and physical ability. Stopping (or even reducing) your smoking and alcohol consumption habits are also highly recommended to improve your health and reduce your risk of stroke. In certain situations, preventative medications or medical interventions are recommended, but this will depend on each individual person, so it's best to discuss your lifestyle and health with a cardiovascular specialist if you are serious about getting your health, especially your heart health, in prime condition.

The Cardiology Clinic at CardioCare offers a range of preventative check-ups for anyone who wants to improve their health, no matter their current medical state or stroke risk level. Dr. Bernd Reisbeck and his team use their expert experience and state-of-the-art technology to diagnose all cardiovascular conditions which may increase your stroke risk. And, if you have diabetes, the Diabetes Care Clinic can detect, monitor, and treat any cardiovascular issues your diabetes may be causing, so that you can prevent cardiovascular emergencies such as stroke.

Learn more about the CardioCare Cardiology Clinic here.

Symptoms of Stroke

Stroke is a serious medical emergency, so if you or someone you know is suffering from a stroke, acting F-A-S-T is critical. FAST is a good way, too, of remembering the signs of stroke.

F – Face. A person suffering from a stroke may not be able to smile, or their eye or mouth may have drooped on one side.

A – Arms. A person suffering from a stroke often feels weakness or numbness in one arm, so they may not be able to lift one or both their arms and hold them there.

S – Speech. Slurred speech or even the inability to talk at all is common for those suffering from stroke. It's also possible that someone suffering from a stroke isn’t able to understand what you're saying to them.

T – Time. Immediate attention is critical to anyone suffering from a stroke, so if you suspect you or someone you know is having a stroke, call 112 immediately.

Although less common, other signs of stroke include blurred vision, dizziness, confusion, lack of balance or co-ordination, severe headache with blinding pain, and/or loss of consciousness.

Please also be aware that a Transient Ischaemic Attack (or “mini-stroke”) has the same symptoms of a regular stroke, but they only last a few minutes to a few hours. Although these symptoms go away, having them even for a few minutes is a serious warning sign that you are at significant risk of a normal stroke which is a very serious medical emergency. Never ignore the symptoms of stroke, no matter how small or how fleeting they are. Speak with your docotor immediately or get in touch with the cardiology team at CardioCare for a thorough diagnostics exam before it's too late.

Why see a cardiologist when a stroke is clearly a neurological condition:

Most causes of a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack are cardio-vascular conditions. Elevated blood pressure is the best known among the risk factors, other conditions like arrhythmias (most frequent atrial fibrillation) and an open atrial septum or foramen ovale (the thin wall betwen the left and the right atrium of the heart) are very common as well and only diagnosed if specific tests at the cardiology clinic are performed. At CardioCare we keep in mind that only an accurate diagnosis and evaluation of your clinical picture will ensure the best strategy for prevention on an individual basis. Whether it is blood thinning medication, blood pressure control or the minimally invasive procedure for closure of the open atrial septum – our patients will be guided safely by our team.

Treating Stroke

If you are having a stroke, time is the most important factor. You must call your doctor or an ambulane right away and the “stroke code” will be activated, meaning, you will get the necesary attention right away. There are several treatment options depending on your medical history and current condition, but may include medications and even minimally invasive interventions.

Depending on the recovery process, rehabilitation physiotherapy is important as well as the prevention of further smilar events in the future. Our CardioCare team is focussed on the determination of your individual risk factors and subsequent prevention management.

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