A person has a stroke every 4 minutes in France. To increase your chances of survival and recovery, you have to act quickly. Charlotte Cordonnier, professor of neurology at the University Hospital of Lille, sheds light on the signs that should alert us.
One in four people over the age of 25 will suffer a stroke at some point in their life. Each year in France, approximately 150,000 people are victims of it, which represents more than one stroke every four minutes. Despite advances in medicine, these numbers continue to rise. “This is explained by the aging of the population and the increase in the number of cases in young subjects, probably linked to the modification of lifestyles and exposure to pollution”, explains Charlotte Cordonnier, professor of neurology at the University Hospital of Lille, researcher at Inserm and coordinator of the national research network F.CRIN.
Stroke most often occurs when a clot blocks blood flow and clogs an artery (ischemic stroke) or when an artery tears (hemorrhagic stroke). If 30% of patients die in the year following their stroke, and 70% keep disabling sequelae, it is not inevitable. On the occasion of World Stroke Day, October 29, Yahoo takes stock of the symptoms that should lead to going to the hospital as soon as possible.
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The main symptoms of stroke
Stroke is manifested by neurological symptoms, the onset of which is sudden. “This notion of brutality is very important because in 80% of cases, the stroke does not hurt”, specifies Professor Charlotte Cordonnier. The absence of pain leads some patients not to react immediately. Wrongly.
The main symptoms of stroke are “the sudden onset of heaviness in the arm or leg, difficulty speaking and sudden loss of vision in one eye, lists the doctor. Even if they only last 5 minutes, these signs must suggest a stroke”. Other symptoms such as an intense headache, loss of balance, difficulty understanding the person you are talking to or numbness in the face are warning signs of a stroke.
Sometimes the symptoms may go away. “Transient deficits which recover spontaneously in a few minutes are generally warning signs that must be taken very seriously because behind, we can repeat another accident which will leave sequelae”, warns Professor Cordonnier. This is called mini strokes or transient ischemic attacks.
Different stroke symptoms in women and children?
Stroke is the leading cause of death among women in France. “It is often said that in women, the symptoms of stroke are unconventional. I especially believe that women will express them in a different way and minimize them, notes Charlotte Cordonnier. American data have shown that compared to men, women are very familiar with the signs that suggest a stroke. They call for help very quickly when it affects someone around them, but they delay the call when it concerns them directly”.
Signs of stroke can also show up in children, adolescents and young adults. The diagnosis is difficult, especially in the youngest who are not able to express what they feel. “Any sudden change in behavior must be worrying,” sums up the specialist. While in adults, stroke most often results from an accumulation of cholesterol deposits on the walls of the arteries or from heart disease, in children it is rather tears in the vessels or rare genetic diseases that cause it. are the cause.
Call 15 as soon as one or more stroke symptoms appear
As soon as one or more symptoms appear, it is necessary to call the Samu (15) as soon as possible to be directed to the right place as quickly as possible. While waiting for help, “you should not give food or drink and leave the person lying down”, advises Charlotte Cordonnier.
Rapid care helps to limit the after-effects and to set up treatment quickly. “If, for example, we manage to treat patients within 4.5 hours of the onset of symptoms of ischemic stroke with intravenous thrombolysis or by navigating inside the arteries to catch the clot, 40% of patients will come out of the ‘hospital without sequelae’, notes the doctor. A good reason to make those around you aware of the signs of stroke and to react as quickly as possible when one of them appears.
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