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May is National Stroke Awareness Month 2024

Article - May 2024 Stroke AwarenessThroughout May, the Stroke Association promotes its annual campaign to raise awareness of strokes, with the main aim of reducing the incidence of the condition and its impact on those it affects. According to figures released by the organisation, around 100,000 people experience a stroke every year and there are more than 1.3 million stroke survivors in the UK alone.

Michael in his SDO® Original Vest and Shorts

A stroke occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain is interrupted. The effects of this vary greatly among individuals depending on various factors, such as the length of time which the blood supply is cut off and which area of the brain is affected. 

The vast majority of strokes (85%) are ischaemic, resulting from a clot obstructing the flow of blood. Some people experience a mini-stroke (properly referred to as a Transient Ischemic Attack or TIA; these are caused by a temporary interruption to the blood supply and are often a precursor to a more severe stroke. When the blood vessels that supply the brain are ruptured, this is known as a haemorrhagic stroke. Although anyone can experience a stroke, factors that increase the risk include hypertension, high cholestrol, diabetes and irregular beating of the heart (atrial fibrillation). 

A key aspect of National Stroke Awareness Month is highlighting the importance of diagnosing the condition as quickly as possible, as fast medical intervention can vastly improve the potential outcome for the patient. To this end, the organisation developed the 'FAST' acronym.

  • Face. Someone having a stroke may show drooping of the eye or mouth on one side and have an inability to smile evenly
  • Arms. The patient may feel numbness or weakness in one of their arms and be unable to lift it 
  • Speech. Garbled or slurred speech is a common symptom and the patient may also find it difficult to understand what is being said to them
  • Time. If one or more of these symptoms is present, it is time to dial 999

Survivors may experience a wide range of debilitating effects on their physical movement following a stroke, including hypertonia, contractures, spasticity and issues with coordination and balance. Wearing dynamic compression garments from the SDO® Original and SDO® Lite collections by Medigarments Ltd can help to mitigate both the incidence and severity of these effects. 

SDO® aids stroke survivor Michael to become mobile

At just 24 years old, former teaching assistant Michael Pursey suffered a massive brain haemorrhage with no recollection of how he ended up in the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. One moment he was teaching a class of special needs children and the next he was in a critical condition with his family waiting anxiously for news.­ Michael spend the following months learning how to talk, walk and feed himself and miraculously went onto climbing Pen Y Fan; the highest peak in South Wales.­ Helena Cook, Michael’s neurological physi­ot­he­rapist, from Neuro Physio Wales reached out to Medigarments to ask if we could help Michael with his challenge, by supplying him with a set of our made-to-measure SDO® Original, Sensory Dynamic Orthosis™ garments.

SDO® Original garments are designed to provide constant and consistent compression for sensory and proprioceptive feedback. They also provide musculoskeletal alignment and resistance whilst allowing movement thus aiding motor learning and neural integration. The aim is to optimise and enhance functional performance by improving motor control and fluency of movement. These garments are Class 1 medical devices and are made to the patient’s specific measures.

UK Heart Dynamic Compression P130-11CPlease browse our website for further details of these dynamic Lycra® garments and get in touch with our clinical team if you have any further questions or require expert advice. To receive more special features like this, along with lots of other news and updates, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Medigarments Ltd is the company behind the internationally recognised brands Jobskin® and SDO®. We lead the way in rehabilitation therapy and are the largest UK manufacturer of specialist custom compression garments supplied through therapy and orthotic professionals.­ Our reputation for the design and supply of technically advanced garments has been built over 40 years supplying the highest quality made-to-measure products. Our garments are used to manage scarring as a result of burns or traumatic injuries. In the field of dynamic compression, they are used to increase sensory and proprioceptive feedback as well as provide musculoskeletal support.

We are dedicated to providing the ultimate in therapy management, with a focus on improving patient quality of life.

If you are interested in Medigarments Ltd or any of our products, please contact us via telephone on 0115 973 4300 or email at

The World of SDO® Sensory Dynamic Orthosis™ range of dynamic Lycra® compression garments by Medigarments Ltd. SDO® and Sensory Dynamic Orthosis™ are trademarks of Medigarments Ltd. 

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