year in the UK approximately 150,000 people (one person every
three minutes) suffers a stroke. Anyone can be affected, all
ages, both adults and children, even the foetus. Men are at a
higher risk; the risk rising with age most commonly occurring
after 55 years of age. However, 1000 people below the age of
30 years old suffer a stroke each year and the frequency of stroke
in children is approximately 5 in every 200,000 children. Although
it is not hereditary, if you have a close relative who has previously
suffered a stroke the risk to yourself is increased slightly. It is also noted that Asian, African and African-Caribbean
communities have a greater risk.
Stroke is the single most common cause of disability; a recent
survey suggesting that 66% of stroke survivors struggle with
the consequences of moderate to severe disability. It is estimated
that the numbers of stroke survivors living with disabilities through the effects of stroke
in the UK are upwards of 250,000. Recurrent stroke is frequent
with approximately 25% suffering a second stroke within 5 years.
A stroke is a brain injury or “brain attack” that
is sudden with immediate consequences. A stroke, whatever the
cause, leads to a loss or reduction of blood supply to areas
of the brain; as a consequence, a loss of oxygen and nutrients
(ischaemia) causes either cell death or damage and a resultant
loss of function. Brain tissue death is often referred to as
a “cerebral infarction”; an “infarct” meaning
dead tissue. The brain controls all functions of the body and
therefore any damage influences bodily functions relevant to
that area of the brain such as control over limb movement. Affects
are also different whether the stroke has affected either the
right or left hemisphere (half) of the brain. Each stroke has different consequences,
symptoms and outcomes; some symptoms are mild and transient such
as those that occur during a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA),
others cause more severe and lasting damage. The general health
of the patient at the time of stroke can also influence the outcome.
The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body
and vice-versa. A left-sided stroke can cause difficulties in
language such as talking, understanding, reading and writing.
A right-sided stroke can cause difficulties in perceptual skills
such as making sense of sight, hearing and touch as well as difficulties
in spatial skills of judging size, speed, distance or position
Initial stroke occurred in 1983, which resulted in left-sided weakness and spasticity. Following heat stroke in 1996, Donna's spasticity became severe and she experienced weakness, drooping on the left side of her face, and swallowing difficulties.
OUTCOME AFTER RECEIVING ITB THERAPY: Spasticity and its related pain significantly reduced; walks without a brace; performs all self-care tasks; works full-time.
COMMENT: “This pump has done wonderful things for me… I encourage anyone contemplating ITB Therapy to find out as much as they can from patients like myself.”