A stroke happens when a blood vessel carrying oxygen to the brain is blocked by a blood clot, or ruptures. This means the brain cells are starved of oxygen, which causes cell death and damage to that area of the brain.
There are a few different types of stroke which are caused in different ways.
Ischaemic stroke is caused by a blockage such as a blood clot, haemorrhagic stroke is cause by a bleed around the brain, and transient ischaemic attack or “mini stroke” is caused when the blockage of blood to the brain is temporary.
The effects of a stroke on the person vary hugely depending on the severity and the area of the brain that is affected. For one person, they may experience mild symptoms and recover fairly quickly. Another person may experience long-lasting or permanent problems.
Possible symptoms that stroke survivors live with can include:
- Mobility problems
- Trouble gripping with their hands
- Speech problems (aphasia)
- Balance difficulties
- Memory problems
- Difficulties concentrating
- Mood and personality changes
- And many more
This list of symptoms makes it clear how a stroke may affect a persons’ ability to work as they did before their stroke. As each stroke survivors’ difficulties, and their job, are so individual; it can be confusing for the both the stroke survivor and their employer to fully understand how it may affect them at work.
For more information on stroke and returning to work, please see the “Working after stroke” [link] section.