A stroke is a serious, potentially life-threatening medical condition, that happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted.
There are 2 main causes of strokes:
- Ischaemic – where the blood supply is stopped because of a blood clot, accounting for 85% of all cases
- Haemorrhagic – where a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain bursts
Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential.
Receiving treatment for a stroke urgently helps to reduce the damage that is likely to happen, and therefore reduces the chances of significant disability.
If you suspect that you or someone else is having a stroke, phone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
If you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or struggling to cope please contact your GP who may refer you to the relevant Healthcare Professional.
What does Cardiff and Vale offer?
Here in Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board we provide:
On arrival to the hospital, if a patient is thought to be having a stroke and is being seen within 4 and a half hours of the start of symptoms, there is the potential of administering a clot-busting drug if the stroke is ischaemic in nature. University Hospital Wales (UHW) is currently the only hospital in Wales where on-site clot removal can be performed.
Should neurosurgery be needed, we also have on-site specialists and facilities to manage this if appropriate. There is a dedicated acute stroke unit in UHW where patients will receive initial assessments, stabilisation of their condition and planning for the next steps of their journey.
Some may be able to be discharged home with Early Support Discharge (ESD) support, others may need a transfer to the specialist Stroke Rehabilitation Centre (SRC) in University Hospital Llandough UHL.
The Acute Stroke Unit and Stroke Rehabilitation Centre (SRC) teams will aid the patient on their rehabilitation journey, but in some instances a longer period of in-patient rehabilitation is needed and this is when transfer to the SRC may be beneficial.
In this unit, the team will work to aid the patient in learning how to control some elements of their body and re-gain functions lost due to the damage to the brain tissue caused by the stroke. With guidance from the team, the patient can be involved in the process whilst being supported by the various disciplines needed.
Each patient’s journey will be different and is influenced by how much the patient was affected by their stroke and also by their ability to take part in the rehabilitation process. Ultimately decisions can be made about adapting or altering their living circumstances to aid discharge home and continue their journey post-stroke in the community.
A multi-professional team that provides rehabilitation in the community following a new stroke event. This team accepts referrals from acute stroke, stroke rehabilitation and community services.
The team is focused on delivering rehabilitation through self-management and help support patients to make informed decisions about their rehabilitation and care.
This is a time limited service.