Physician Education and Scholarship Center

Stroke

It is described as a sudden loss of function in the brain due to interrupted blood supply.  Approximately 800,000 people in the US suffer a stroke yearly.  Strokes account for 1 in 18 deaths and cost an estimated $54 billion yearly. (www.cdc.gov)


There are two major types of strokes, ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes.
Click either topic for more information

Ischemic stroke is to the brain what a heart attack is to the heart. In fact, it is sometimes referred to in layman’s terms as a “brain attack.” It is commonly caused by atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which results from a build up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances that leave little space for blood flow. This is known as a thrombosis. When the thrombosis clogs the already narrow passage, an ischemic stroke occurs, resulting in the death of brain cells in the area deprived of blood. It can also be caused by a blood clot that travels to the brain from another part of the body, which is a type of ischemic stroke known as an embolism.

Hemorrhagic stroke, on the other hand, occurs when a weakened artery in the brain bursts, causing bleeding within the brain that is often very difficult to manage. The weakened artery walls that are a hallmark of this condition are typically the result of uncontrolled high blood pressure or an aneurysm.”

Dr. Steven Pahner of
Floyd Memorial Emergency



Click image for
STROKE RISK FACTORS

Courtesy of the Nation Stroke Association



Predisposing factors include such things as diabetes, physicial inactivity, obestiy, poor diet and excessive alcohol use.

Warning signs include severe headache, confusion, numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg.

According to the
National Stroke Association:

  • 10 percent of stroke survivors recover almost completely
  • 25 percent recover with minor impairments
  • 40 percent experience moderate to severe impairments requiring special care
  • 10 percent require care in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
  • 15 percent die shortly after the stroke
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    Management includes use of blood thinners like heparin, blood pressure medication as well as nutrients and fluids.

    Here are a few tips for managing recurrent stroke risk as listed by the National Stroke Association:

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