Definition of stroke:
A stroke is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to lack of blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischaemia or due to a haemorrhage. As a result, the affected area of the brain is unable to function. This can lead to inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or inability to see one side of the visual field.
- Stroke is the third biggest killer in the UK and the second biggest killer in London
- Nearly 1% of London’s population has suffered a stroke with more than 11,000 hospital admissions for stroke each year
- Stroke is the cause of around 2,200 deaths in London alone each year
- Up to one in fi ve people are more likely to survive a stroke, and the risk of long-term disability is reduced if treated in a specialist centre
- Around 74% of all strokes in London are ischaemic
How GPs can improve outcomes:
To ensure the best clinical outcomes, patients must receive specialist treatment as soon as possible. Anyone with suspected stroke should be admitted immediately to a hyper-acute stroke unit (HASU, see sections 3.2 and 3.3 for more details). The timely treatment of acute stroke patients can signifi cantly reduce the risk of permanent disability or death as a result of stroke.