Find reliable independent health and treatment information about stroke written by Australian experts. This includes resources for consumers and health professionals.

About stroke

A stroke happens when the blood flow to the brain is stopped, causing brain cells to die.

Strokes are a medical emergency, as they can lead to permanent damage to parts of the brain, loss of functions such as speech, or cause death.

If you have been told you are at risk of stroke, it’s important to be aware of the main symptoms of stroke.

Transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs or mini-strokes) have the same underlying causes as stroke – an interruption in blood flow to the brain. TIA symptoms are shorter-lived than a stroke, however they can be a warning sign of stroke and need to be treated.

If you are at high risk of a stroke caused by a blood clot (ischaemic stroke), then preventing stroke is important. You may be given an anti-clotting medicine such as warfarin (an anticoagulant) or aspirin (an antiplatelet medicine) to lower your risk of blood clots forming.

There are several risk factors for stroke, many of which can be reduced with either medicines or lifestyle changes. Find out what else you can do to prevent a stroke.

Find out more

For health professionals  

Patients who are at high risk of ischeamic stroke should be given either an antiplatelet or an anticoagulant as primary (or secondary) prevention. For most patients the need to reduce the risk of stroke will outweigh the risk of bleeding. Those who are at risk of bleeding should have their risk factors addressed.

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For your patients

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