What to expect in the first few days
What is a stroke?
A stroke is when blood can’t get to all parts of your brain. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients for your brain cells. If blood can’t get through, your brain can be injured.
See more about Types of stroke
Going to hospital
Stroke is a medical emergency. If you have signs of a stroke you should go to hospital right away.
An easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke is the F.A.S.T. test: F – face, A – arms, S – speech, T – time to get help. If you see any of the signs, call triple zero (000).
At hospital you will probably go through the emergency department. You should then go to a special ward called a stroke unit.
Treatment for a stroke
Whether you are still in hospital or you have already gone home, you should get treatment from a stroke team of doctors, nurses and other health professionals. See more about Who will be involved in my care
Doctors and nurses will assess your symptoms and do tests to confirm you have had a stroke. They will do tests to find out:
- What type of stroke you had.
- What area of your brain is injured and how badly.
- What caused the stroke.
They might give you treatment to minimise the injury to your brain, and to prevent you having another stroke. See more about Procedures
In hospital, the stroke team will meet with you and your family to talk about your stroke, your treatment and what you need. Family meetings are a good time to ask questions and to raise any concerns or worries. See some Questions to ask
You need good healthcare to do well after your stroke. See more about Getting good healthcare
What comes next?
The hospital stroke team will work with you and your family about where you go next and what you need for recovery. See more about Leaving hospital
It's very common to want to know what recovery to expect. Everyone's stroke is different, and everyone's recovery is different. Most people get a lot better. Some people take a bit longer to get better, and some may not get better.
Rehabilitation helps you get stronger. It helps you learn to do things again and find new ways to do things.
Connect with others
You’re not alone in your stroke journey, even though it sometimes feels that way. There’s a community of people ready to connect with you.
- Call StrokeLine on 1800 787 653 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to a health professional. They can help you find the support and services you need.
- EnableMe community is an online place to talk and seek support. You can meet other people who have 'been there', as well as the health professionals from StrokeLine.
- Stroke support groups are found across Australia. They let you meet other survivors of stroke, families and carers face to face.
- Young Stroke is a website created by the community of people aged 18 to 65 living with the impact of stroke. You can hear honest stories and experiences, and get advice.
You will be taken to hospital.
The doctors will do tests.
The doctors will find out what happened to you.
The doctors will try to stop further damage to your brain.
Different people will visit you to help you get better.
A neurologist is a doctor who will talk to you about your brain.
A rehabilitation physician is a doctor who can help you get back to normal.
A physiotherapist will help you to move again.
An occupational therapist will help you do things like getting dressed.
A speech pathologist will help you to talk, eat and swallow again.
A dietitian will teach you about what to eat.
A social worker will help you get the services you need.
A psychologist will help you understand your feelings, thoughts and emotions.
These people work together as a team to look after you.
The doctors might give you medicine to help blood flow to your brain.
This is called thrombolysis.