Stroke factfile: the killer which affects 150,000 a year
Jeremy Laurance is a writer on health issues. He is former health editor of The Independent and the i and has covered the specialism for more than 20 years. He thinks the harm medicine does is under-appreciated, the harm it prevents over-rated, and that cycling works better than most drugs. He was named Specialist Journalist of the Year in the 2011 British Press Awards.
Monday 08 April 2013
About 150,000 people suffer a stroke every year. A third make a good recovery within a month. Most however, have long term difficulties with speech or movement and the worst affected die.
Anyone of any age can be affected, though strokes are most common in the elderly. Around 20,000 a year happen in people under 65 and strokes can also affect children and babies.
There are two main types - a bleed in the brain called a haemorrhagic stroke, or a blood clot that blocks a blood vessel in the brain called an ischaemic stroke.
In both cases the effect is to deprive part of the brain of its blood supply, carrying oxygen and nutrients, which causes the affected brain cells to die.
When stroke strikes, fast action is essential to give the patient the maximum chance of surviving unimpaired. But in an elderly person such as Mrs Thatcher, already suffering from Alzheimer's disease, intervention following a stroke might be deemed cruel.
The chances of restoring her to her pre-stroke state would have been extremely slim. It can be kinder to let nature take its course.
- 1 Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
- 2 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Jennifer Lawrence: Leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by users
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Central Lon...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Head of Technology needed for a Outsta...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Maths teachers requir...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Head of Business Studies needed for a ...