Stroke

HCA UK provides urgent stroke treatment and a multi-disciplinary neurorehabilitation recovery programme

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About

A stroke is a life-threatening condition where the blood supply is cut off from the brain. As with any organ, your brain needs oxygen and other nutrients carried in the blood to survive. Your brain cells can die if the blood supply stops. This can cause significant damage, affecting the way you think, feel and communicate. 

Need to know

A stroke is either caused by a blood clot in one of your arteries (ischaemic) or when a blood vessel supplying the brain bursts (haemorrhagic). Health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure can also cause strokes. The main symptoms of a stroke are:

  • the face dropping on one side, including the mouth or eye arms
  • weakness of numbness in one arm
  • slurred speech or garbled
  • blurred vision
  • sight loss
  • sudden memory loss or confusion
  • severe headache

A stroke is a medical emergency. Call an ambulance (999) if a person has these symptoms.

Your consultant will carry out urgent imaging and blood tests to determine the cause and extent of the stroke. You'll be give a brain scan immediately — this might be a CT scan or an MRI scan. This determines the cause of the stroke (a blocked artery or a haemorrhage), which part of the brain has been affected and how severe the stroke is. You will also receive physical tests, such as blood tests to determine your blood sugar and cholesterol, and you may also be asked to swallow a small amount of water to ensure the stroke hasn't affected this function.
Quick treatment of a stroke can help prevent disability and death. Strokes cause by blood clots (ischaemic) are usually treated with medication such as statins and anti-coagulants. Strokes caused by bleeding on the brain (haemorrhagic) are also treated with medicine and sometimes surgery. Here, blood is removed from the brain and burst blood vessels are repaired. Neuro rehabilitation plays a vital role in stroke recovery, helping a person regain independence if they're left with disability. A team of therapists, including occupational health, speech and language and physiotherapists, will work with you for as long as you need.

Our Stroke locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.