A UHDB Consultant has appealed to anyone who is showing symptoms of a stroke to not hesitate – but to “seek medical attention immediately” instead.
Throughout various stages of the pandemic, patients have been wary about coming into hospital, even with symptoms of extremely serious conditions, like a heart attack or a stroke.
As we mark World Stroke Day today (Friday 29 October), the message has never been clearer about what you need to do should you spot some of the signs of a stroke – call 999 or go to A&E immediately.
Dr James Scott, Consultant Stroke Physician at UHDB, said: “In the early stages of the pandemic we saw a number of patients who, for understandable reasons, presented late with significant health problems including strokes. I really can’t emphasise enough just how important it is that you seek medical attention immediately if you start to show any signs of a stroke.
“Symptoms of stroke include sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, difficulty finding words or speaking in clear sentences, sudden blurred vision or loss of sight in one or both eyes. Sometimes people suffer from a sudden disabling loss of balance and a sensation of spinning: either way, they should never be ignored.
“It’s absolutely imperative that people always act quickly - we have treatments that are extremely effective in the early stages of a stroke - but their success does depend on how quickly we can treat people. Early treatment can greatly reduce the chances of permanent disability - but as time goes by those chances dwindle rapidly. Getting to hospital quickly really makes a difference to your chances of surviving without disability.”
If you think that you might be having a stroke, your first port of call should be to either call 999 and ask for an ambulance or get someone to drive you to A&E immediately.
UHDB made major changes to our Stroke services last year to help deliver a greater chance of disability-free survival following a stroke, increased quality of life and an overall reduced length of stay in hospital.
All suspected stroke patients from Derbyshire and East Staffordshire are now taken to RDH’s expanded Hyper Acute Stroke Unit for the critical first 72 hours after a stroke, where they receive time-critical assessments, diagnostic imaging and treatments like thrombolysis and assessment for thrombectomy.
Following the initial 72 hours of care on the Hyper Acute Stroke Unit at RDH, patients from East Staffordshire can then be repatriated back to the dedicated Acute Stroke Unit at QHB, to continue their care there.