This Morning: Dr Chris shows exercise to prevent blood clots
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Blood clots have recently become a significant health fear across Europe, as several nations on the mainland suspend doses of the AstraZeneca jab. Some recipients have experienced clotting after their dose, raising fears of a potentially dangerous vaccine side-effect. Although independent health agencies have rushed to deny the vaccine poses clotting risks, the news has spooked people, many of whom may not know telltale signs of the condition.
What are the symptoms of a blood clot in the brain?
Blood clots form when platelets rush to repair a damaged vein, clogging up tears in the vessel’s wall.
Sometimes, these blood fragments can group together with too much vigour, clogging up the vessel they are meant to protect.
Clots most commonly develop in the legs and arms, but sometimes the body can pick them up and carry the blockage to vital organs.
When blood clots end up in vulnerable regions, they become an embolism.
These block the safe passage of oxygen through the areas which may need it the most, and the damage they cause can be profound.
If they end up in the brain, clots will cause an ischaemic stroke.
Experts have identified several telltale signs that a blood clot has formed in the brain, which people can spot using the FAST method.
The main stroke symptoms include:
Face: The face may have drooped on one side, causing their mouth or eye to drop and leaving them unable to smile.
Arms: Numbness caused by the stroke prevents people from fully lifting both of their arms and keeping them there.
Speech: People may have trouble speaking, leaving their speech slurred or garbled or unable to talk at all.
Time: Strokes can kill, so anyone who notices these symptoms in themselves or someone close to them should immediately call 999.
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Timely treatment can minimise the damage caused by an ischaemic stroke, preventing death or disability.
Stroke sufferers may experience cognitive difficulties, movement issues and a range of mental health problems.
Doctors will have several methods they can employ to relieve damage and prevent future strokes.
Many of these focus on removing the blockage and restoring blood flow, but people can also help prevent strokes from developing by making some key changes.
The NHS recommends people make the following lifestyle changes to prevent ischaemic strokes:
- Adopt a healthier diet
- Stop smoking
- Lose weight
- Drink less alcohol
- Manage any underlying conditions
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