What Do You Know About Stroke?

A stroke can be life-threatening. It is a serious condition in which the blood supply to a part of the brain is shut off, and urgent medical attention is essential.

By recognizing the signs of a stroke, and ensuring treatment is received as quickly as possible, you can reduce the likelihood of permanent damage and save a life. If you think someone is having a stroke, you need to act FAST.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is designated by the Department of Health as the official Stroke Center for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. We provide access to rapid emergency treatment, evaluation, stabilization, and post-stroke rehabilitation programs.

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly interrupted, either by an artery blockage or a burst blood vessel. Strokes are the leading cause of disability in the UAE, and the third leading cause of death. But immediate emergency medical treatment can limit the damage caused by a stroke and ultimately save a person’s life.

What causes a stroke?

In the UAE, the average age of a stroke patient is 45. This is up to 20 years younger than the global average. The early onset is believed to be caused by the high prevalence of modifiable risk factors (things we can change) in UAE adults, such as obesity, smoking, and diabetes. Hypertension (high blood pressure) has been identified as one of the major risk factors for stroke. It is estimated that 25% of all adults in the UAE are living with hypertension, putting our population at high risk.

The two main causes of stroke are:

  • Ischemic: the most common type of stroke, where a blot clot blocks blood flow
  • Hemorrhagic: the most serious type, where a blood vessel in the brain bursts and causes a bleed on the brain.

Another condition, referred to as a ‘mini-stroke’ or transient ischemic attack (TIA) can occur, where the blood supply to the brain is temporarily interrupted, anywhere from a few minutes to 24 hours. A TIA won’t cause permanent damage to the brain, however, it should always be treated immediately and considered as a warning sign of a possible full stroke in the future.

Regardless of the type, it is crucial to recognize that any stroke is a serious medical condition that should be treated as a medical emergency. If you suspect that you, or someone else is experiencing a stroke, call 999 immediately.

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

The main warning signs of a stroke can be easily remembered by the words B.E. F.A.S.T:

  • Balance: Is the person experiencing a sudden loss of balance or coordination?
  • Eyes: Is the person having difficulty focusing or are they experiencing double vision? Can they see clearly?
  • Face: Is the person able to smile fully? Is their face drooping on one side?
  • Arms: Can the person raise both arms or does one arm drop?
  • Speech: Is the person able to speak? Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • Time: Time is of the essence. Call 999 immediately if you see any of these signs.

Life after a stroke

Recovery from a stroke is different for every patient. Many people recover completely, while others are left with physical limitations, such as difficulty walking, speech problems, and the ability to perform daily activities. Rehabilitation after a stroke can help overcome these limitations. Our physical, occupational, and speech therapists are all trained to help stroke patients get back as much independence as possible. By building strength, mobility and confidence, the team help patients to live their lives to the fullest. Read more about life after a stroke here.

stroke center

Stroke Center at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Watch Video

Stroke - Signs & Symptoms by Dr. Victoria Mifsud

Watch Video

Related Articles

Surviving a Stroke: What's Next?
Brain & Spine Health
27 Oct 2021

Surviving a Stroke:...

Surviving a stroke holds significant impact on anyone’s life, but the disabilities that result from...

Read Articles
Obesity And Stroke: What You Need To Know
21 Jan 2019

Obesity And Stroke: What...

Obesity health risks factors & causes: There are several factors linked to an increased risk of...

Read Articles
4 Ways to Help Prevent a Stroke
Brain & Spine Health
03 Nov 2016

4 Ways to Help Prevent a...

Stroke prevention & essential tips: Replace foods with high fats, high-sugar foods with whole grains...

Read Articles
Seizure Safety: How to help someone suffering a seizure
Brain & Spine Health
25 Aug 2016

Seizure Safety: How to...

Seizure first aid & precautions: Depending on the type of seizure, it may cause a loss of...

Read Articles

Liver Disease in the UAE

Rates are high, but the risk can be reduced with lifestyle changes.

Learn More

Where Hope Begins

Comprehensive Cancer Care, Close to Home

Learn More

Precision Prevention Medicine

Your Personal Roadmap to Healthier Living

Learn More

Executive Health Program

A Day Dedicated to Your Health and Wellness

Learn More

We are here to make managing your healthcare easier. 

Request an Appointment 800 8 2223