A stroke occurs when a part of the brain gets damaged due to interruption of its blood supply. The symptoms and signs of a stroke depend on the size and location of the damaged area.
In a “transient ischemic attack (TIA),” the symptoms of stroke disappear completely within 24 hours.
Act FAST for stroke
Stroke is an emergency. Recognise stroke symptoms and act F.A.S.T.
Blood is supplied to the brain by blood vessels called arteries. These arteries may get blocked, causing an “ischaemic stroke” or “infarct”. Less commonly, these arteries may burst, causing a “haemorrhagic stroke” or “brain haemorrhage”.
While in hospital, your condition will be closely monitored. About 20% of patients will worsen within the first week. Very high blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol will need to be lowered by dietary control and medications. Those who are unable to swallow safely may need to be fed by a tube through the nose.
Rehabilitation aims to get the patient to be independent in his daily activities. It starts as soon as possible through physical, occupational and speech therapy.
In “ischaemic stroke”, the use of “blood thinners” such as “antiplatelet” and “anticoagulant” medication significantly reduces the risk of a second stroke. If there is a severe narrowing of a neck artery leading to a minor stroke or TIA, surgery to remove that narrowing (Carotid endarterectomy) reduces the risk of another stroke.
If the “haemorrhagic stroke” is due to rupture of a “bubble” on a blood vessel (An aneurysm), the aneurysm can be clipped surgically, or sometimes blocked up by specially-inserted coils. Rupture of an “arteriovenous malformation (AVM)” can also cause a haemorrhagic stroke. Surgery, specially-inserted glue may be needed to treat it. Accumulation of brain fluid may need to be relieved by a surgically-inserted “drain”.
Recovery after stroke is a natural process. Up to a third of stroke patients recover fully, a third recover partially, and a third do not recover at all. About 10% to 20% may not survive the early period after the stroke. Recovery takes time. Most recovery occurs in the first 3 to 6 months, but it may continue slowly for many years.
There is a 5% to 15% chance a year of the stroke recurring. To reduce the chance of another stroke, all medications should be taken regularly and smoking must be stopped.
Where can you seek support?
The Singapore National Stroke Association was established in 1996 for the benefit of stroke patients and their carers. It seeks to provide support to stroke patients and their families, to build up community support for stroke patients and their families, and to increase awareness about stroke among the public.
Contact informationSingapore National Stroke Association Tel:
(+65) 6222 9514 Email:
Learn more about stroke and stroke care with these guides.
For more information on coping with life after a stroke, click on the resources below (available in four languages).
Controlling Risk Factor of Stroke
Rehabilitation After Stroke
Consequences of Stroke
Social and Leisure Matters After Stroke
For My Carer (Caregivers)
Materials contributed by the Stroke Services Improvement (SSI) team in collaboration with all public hospitals in Singapore.
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