Should I have called an ambulance?


Two months ago I had a stroke. I suffered sudden vision loss, one of the many possible symptoms of stroke, but left it to next day to do something about it.

Why did I wait? Because I wasn’t sure it was a stroke, and it didn’t seem too severe. And of course I was confused, because of the stroke.

I’ve learned a lot more about strokes since then, and recently when talking to a friend about my experience I realized my delay was a mistake.

As it turned out I was very lucky and the damage, although life-changing, was limited. For many the consequences are far more serious. About 10% of stroke victims require permanent care and 15% of them die.

Stroke is a sudden loss of blood supply to part of the brain and is always an emergency. Brain cells are starved and rapidly begin to die. The statistics are alarming. One estimate is that without treatment the loss can be about 120 million neurons per hour, which is the same as the number that would be lost in 3 or 4 years from normal ageing.

If treatment is prompt this damage can minimised. Know what symptoms to be aware of and if you think you or someone with you might be having a stroke, don’t hang about. Call an ambulance!


About partialinsight

One evening I had a stroke. Half my sight vanished overnight. Adapting made me grasp how amazing the visual system and brain are. It also taught me to understand disability completely differently and I'm grateful for the lesson.
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