Sunday, 6 May 2012

CVA. STROKE.


Stroke

A sudden stopping of blood flow to a portion of the brain causing injury. Some strokes are associated with bleeding into the damaged area. Most strokes are caused by a blocked artery in the brain from hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) or from a blood clot that travels from another area (embolus). The symptoms experienced depend on the artery blocked. Survival and the best outcome depend on seeking medical care immediately. Also known as a Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA).


Symptoms:
Weakness of an arm, leg, side of the face, or any part of the body. Numbness, decreased sensation, vision changes, slurred speech, inability to speak, inability to understand speech, difficulty reading or writing, swallowing difficulty, drooling, loss of memory, vertigo (spinning sensation), loss of balance or coordination, personality changes, mood changes (depression, apathy), drowsiness, lethargy, or loss of consciousness, uncontrollable eye movements, double vision.

Treatment:
A stroke is a medical emergency. Therapy depends on the size of the stroke, the medications the patient is taking, how long the symptoms have been present and other associated diseases. Treatment may include: blood pressure medication, anti-platelet medications (aspirin, clopidogrel Plavix), anticoagulants (heparin, enoxaparin, warfarin), thrombolysis (tissue plasminogen activator t-PA), intravascular thrombolysis, physical therapy, speech therapy, and or occupational therapy.
Test to identify the stroke and the cause of the stroke will be performed.

Other Specific Tests:
Head and Neck CTA, carotid ultrasound, echocardiogram, PT (Protime), PTT (Partial Thromboplastin Time)