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Date: May 2011


Death of brain tissue due to inadequate blood supply or haemorrhage within the skull resulting in permanent neurological deficit with persisting clinical symptoms.

For the above definition the following is not covered:

  • transient ischaemic attack.


What does this mean?

As with a heart attack the cause of a stroke is inadequate blood supply, this time to the brain. It can be caused by a blood clot becoming caught in an artery of the brain or the bursting of one of the brain’s blood vessels. The event that triggers the stroke may result from problems within the body, such as clogged up arteries, or weaknesses in the wall of a blood vessel. After a true stroke there is usually permanent brain damage, which can cause paralysis to the right or left sides of the body, loss of speech or sight and other effects such as loss of strength or mobility. In some cases, the damage may be quite minor, but it will depend upon which part of the brain was affected.

Transient ischaemic attacks are often known as ministrokes but do not result in permanent damage. They are therefore excluded.

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