Make May Purple for Stroke is the Stroke Association’s annual stroke awareness month, taking place every May.
Stroke strikes every five minutes and destroys lives. Let’s help others by going purple!
When stroke strikes, part of your brain shuts down. And so does a part of you.
Recovery is difficult, but with the right specialist support and lots of courage and determination, the brain can adapt. With more donations and support , the Stroke Association can rebuild even more lives.
All you have to do is wear purple in May, and every penny raised will help provide support for stroke survivors. Examples:
A stroke is a brain attack. It happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off. Blood carries essential nutrients and oxygen to your brain, so without blood, your brain cells can be damaged or die. This damage can have different effects, depending on where it happens in your brain.
The injury to the brain caused by a stroke can lead to widespread and long-lasting health problems. Because the brain controls everything we do and how we think, depending on which part of the brain is injured, a stroke can impact on how the body functions and how you communicate, think and learn.
Although some people may recover quite quickly and the effects may be relatively minor, many people who have a stroke need long-term support to help them regain as much independence as possible.
Unfortunately not everyone survives a stroke – around one in eight people die within 30 days of having a stroke; that’s why it’s so important to be able to recognise the symptoms and get medical help as quickly as possible. The sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen. For many people, a stroke happens suddenly and without warning.
A stroke can happen to anyone, of any age, at any time. It's vital to know how to spot the warning signs of a stroke in yourself or someone else. Using the FAST test is the best way to do this:
You may start off in accident and emergency or another assessment ward, but it is likely you will be quickly admitted to an acute stroke unit, which has a range of trained professionals experienced in stroke care. The quicker your stroke is diagnosed and treated, the better your recovery will be.
A brain scan can show what type of stroke you have had. A CT scan or an MRI scan will show whether your stroke has been caused by a blockage or by a bleed.
With the right help and support, your stroke doesn’t have to stop you from doing the things you want to do.
A TIA or transient ischaemic attack (also known as a mini-stroke) is the same as a stroke, except that the symptoms last for a short amount of time. It is caused by a blockage cutting off the blood supply to part of your brain. This can cause sudden symptoms similar to a stroke, such as speech and visual disturbance, and numbness or weakness in the face, arms and legs. However, a TIA doesn’t last as long a stroke and often only lasts for a few minutes or hours and fully resolve within 24 hours.
In the early ages of a TIA, it is not possible to tell whether you’re having a TIA or a full stroke so it’s important to dial 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
A TIA is a warning that you may be at risk of having a full stroke in the near future. Even though the symptoms of a TIA resolve in a few minutes or hours, you’ll need tests and treatment to help prevent another TIA or full stroke. This may mean taking medication to treat any medical conditions that could be increasing your risk. It could also mean making some changes to your lifestyle, such as giving up smoking or doing more exercise.
The best way to help prevent a TIA/stroke is to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol: