What is a Stroke?

There are a large number of life changing medical conditions. A Stroke is just one of them that you should know more about. There are a number of crucial factors that can help you if you do suffer from a stroke. Making sure you have access to rapid medical treatment is important because this can make a massive difference in your recovery.

There are three different types of Stroke

A Stroke happens when the blood supply to a part of the brain is cut off and kills the brain cells. The damage can vary in severity and can effect you both mentally and physically.

  • Ischaemic Stroke; this is the most common form and is caused by a blockage cutting off the blood supply to the brain.
  • Haemorrhagic Stroke; This is caused by bleeding in or around the brain.
  • Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA); Sometimes referred to as a mini-stroke. The symptoms are similar to a stroke however because the blockage is temporary, the symptoms do not last as long.

Survival of a stroke is possible depending on the severity and the type you have had. You may experience only minor effects, however it is also possible that you have more life changing problems that leave you reliant on other people. There is no guarantee of survival and currently 1 in 8 people die within 30 days of having a stroke.

What are the symptoms?

There are three significant symptoms that occur and these are recognised in the FAST test:

  • Can a person smile or has their face fallen on one side?
  • Is the person able to raise both arms and leave them there?
  • Speech problems, can you understand what the person is saying and can they understand you? Is there any sign of slurred speech?

It is crucial that you call 999 if any of the above symptoms are present.

There are a number of other symptoms that are associated with stroke. We would recommend that you have a look on the following link for important information relating to FAST and the other symptoms related to Stroke. In fact Stroke.org can offer you a wealth of information relating to every element of diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.


What puts you at risk of having a Stroke?

Regardless of your age, you are all at risk of having a stroke. You may have thought this only happens to older people but this is definitely not the case at all. In the UK, 1 in 4 strokes occur in people who are still at working age.

Your Age puts you at risk of having a stroke

Although a stroke can happen at any age, the risk does increase as you get older. Those who are 55 and older see an increased risk of having a stroke.

Other medical conditions that put you at risk of having a stroke

You may have medical conditions that can increase your risk including:

Your GP can help you to manage these conditions and therefore reduce the associated risk.

Your immediate family history may contribute to your risk factor

If a close relative such as your parent, grandparent or siblings have had a stroke, this may increase your risk too.

Lifestyle choices you make can put you more at risk of having a stroke

The way you choose to live your life really can make a difference.

There are a number of lifestyle choices that you make that will affect your risk factor and these include:

These are all things that you can avoid in order to improve your health and reduce the associated risks.

What about your ethnicity

The risk factor is higher for people who are black or from South Asian families.

Does your Health Insurance cover you for medical treatment of a Stroke?

Health Insurance in the UK does not cover you for Accident and Emergency treatment. As the treatment in the case of stroke is definitely an emergency, if you suspect a stroke you should dial 999 straight away. The NHS has the facilities in place to deal with emergencies of this nature. Even now with the coronavirus pandemic surrounding us, where a stroke is suspected you will be taken to a hospital and treated in a specialist stroke unit. The quicker your stroke is diagnosed, the quicker your treatment will be and this can be a key element of your recovery.

Depending on your Health Insurance provider, you may have cover on your policy for rehabilitation once your initial treatment via the NHS has been completed. Insurers such as Vitality Health offer you rehabilitation of up to 21 days following a period of in-patient treatment. This is also available to other serious brain injuries. Your treatment must be completed in a recognised rehabilitation facility by a consultant who Vitality Health recognise. The start date of your rehabilitation must be within 2 months of your initial diagnosis or injury.

AXA Health cover a short period of rehabilitation on their Business Health, Personal Health, InSpire and Health for You policies. They confirm cover for rehabilitation for up to 28 days. A really great element for AXA Health members is that AXA confirm that if you have severe central nervous system damage following external trauma, they will extend this cover to up to 180 days of in-patient rehabilitation. There are standard terms and conditions that apply for cover of this type. Your condition must have been eligible for treatment as part of your Health Insurance .

SMP Healthcare is an independent Health Insurance broker

Would you like to buy a health insurance policy and make sure that you have cover for serious conditions such as stroke? The team at SMP Healthcare can help you find a great solution. We are not affiliated to any insurer and therefore will provide you with unbiased advice. Please get in touch today for more information about our services.

Telephone: 01245 929129 / 0800 047 0127

Email: enquiries@smphealthcare.com