Frequently asked questions
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel to the brain is blocked or bursts, causing interruption to the flow of blood and oxygen, killing brain cells.
What is an ischaemic stroke?
An ischemic stroke is caused by a blockage or blood clot cutting off the blood supply to the
brain and is the most common type of stroke.
What is a haemorrhagic stroke?
A haemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding in or around the brain. The blood builds up and creates pressure on the surrounding brain tissue.
What is a transient ischaemic attack?
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is also known as a mini stroke. It is caused by a temporary
disruption in the blood supply to an area of the brain.
What are the warning signs of a stroke?
If you think you or someone is having a stroke, follow the BE FAST rule. Signs of a stroke
Balance: sudden loss of balance or coordination.
Eyes: sudden trouble seeing in one our both eyes.
Face: sudden drooping of one side of the face.
Arms: sudden numbness or downward drifting of one arm.
Speech: sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.
Time: Time to act! Call 1-1-9 Immediately!
In addition to 119, who can I also call for help?
Here is a list of medical and ambulance services that you can directly call for help:
● St. John Ambulance, Kingston: 876-926-7656
● Ambucare Ambulance Service, Kingston: 876-978-2327
● Advanced Family Medical Services, Kingston: 876-934-4736
● Suretime Emergency Medical Services, Kingston: 876-906-7873
● Ambucare Ambulance Services, Kingston: 876-978-2327
● Gentlecare Ambulance Services, Spanish Town: 876-631-7521
● EMS Unit Linstead, St. Catherine: 1-876-985-2333
● EMS Unit Ironshore, St. James: 876-953-3952
● EMS Unit Negril: 876-957-4242
● EMS Unit Savanna-La-Mar: 876-955-2666
● EMS Unit Westmoreland: 876-955-2540
● EMS Unit Lucea, Hanover: 876-956-2220 or 2187
● EMS Unit Falmouth, Trelawny: 876-954-3230
What can I do to help prevent a stroke?
Knowing your stroke risk factors, following your doctor's recommendations and adopting a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take to prevent a stroke. Healthy lifestyle recommendations include:
● Control high blood pressure (hypertension).
● Exercise regularly.
● Eat a healthy balanced diet.
● Reduce your cholesterol.
● Maintain a healthy weight.
● Stop smoking and avoid smoky environments.
● Reduce your alcohol intake.
● Identify and treat atrial fibrillation (AF).
● Manage diabetes.
● Manage stress and depression.
How is life after a stroke?
A stroke can affect how you think, talk, move and feel. Complications may include:
● Paralysis or muscle spasticity
● Difficulty talking or swallowing
● Memory loss or thinking difficulties
● Emotional problems
● Changes in behaviour
How do I adjust to life after a stroke?
It is crucial that you understand that finding your ‘new normal’ will not happen overnight,
and that’s okay. However, try your best to JUST MOVE! Working with your healthcare team,
developing new routines and tracking small step-by-step goals, is the best way to make progress. Rehabilitation can build your strength, capability and confidence. It can help you continue your daily activities despite the effects of your stroke.
How do I reduce the risk of another stroke and what are the treatment options?
After having a stroke, your risks are much higher for having another one. However, you can
lower your chance by following these recommendations:
● Adopt healthy lifestyle habits.
● Control key risk factors, including high blood pressure, smoking and atrial
● Take medication to lower high blood pressure, manage atrial fibrillation, and
reduce the chances of forming a clot.
● Have procedures to remove plaque buildup or open blockages.