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Cerebrovascular accident (C.V.A.), commonly known as stroke, ictus, cerebral infarction, or brain ischemia, is a condition caused by a sudden loss of oxygen in the brain. It is the third cause of death and the first cause of disability worldwide. Every year, 15 million people suffer from a stroke, and 6 million do not survive. Reading this data may be scary, especially if you know that it happens suddenly and unexpectedly. That is why it is so important to recognize its signs and promptly ask for medical assistance. For that reason, we will teach you how to identify a cerebral infarction by its symptoms.
In rare cases, the affected person may not realize that they have had a stroke. In general, ictus is sudden onset and rapidly developing, and cause a brain injury in a matter of minutes. However, the amount, intensity and duration of the symptoms depend on two factors: 1) the type of stroke they are having (whether it is ischemic or hemorrhagic) and 2) what part of the brain is being affected by the interruption of the oxygen supply.
F.A.S.T. is a useful mnemonic phrase typically used to identify a stroke quickly. It gathers three main symptoms. F (face)- the person has to grin, and you have to try notice if one side of their face begins to hang. A (arms)- ask them to lift both of their arms, is one of them drifting downward? S (speech)- ask the person to say a simple sentence- is their talk unclear or strange? And T (time)- instantly call 9-1-1 if you note any of these signs. Time can be either a friend or foe.
Even so, other symptoms will help us determine more accurately if a person is suffering from cerebral infarction. Among them are:
1-Severe headache with no known cause
No matter what part of the brain is being damaged, this is one of the most recurrent symptoms in people suffering from a stroke. It occurs in a quarter of patients with ischemic stroke and half of the patients with hemorrhagic ictus. It happens suddenly and often felt as very acute and penetrating pain of varied duration. Sometimes, the pain may decrease in minutes, or, on the contrary, increase. It gets severe depending on the position of the person; when standing, it usually hurts less compared to a sitting position or lying down, either on her back or upside down. In any case, headache is severe and alarming, often making patients and family members rush into the emergency room.
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