The two most common types of strokes are Ischemic and Hemorrhagic.
An ischemic stroke patient's chance of escaping long term disability increases dramatically if the patient receives r-TPA, a clot buster medication, within 3 hours of the onset of the stroke. If the stroke is a blockage of blood to the brain, treatment could include:
- r-tPA - (tissue plasminogen activator) a clot-busting drug that can significantly reduce long-term disability if the patient is an eligible candidate by meeting the criteria, and treatment begins within the first three hours of the onset of stroke.
- Drugs that thin the blood to prevent further clot formation - anticoagulants
- Drugs that break up clots - thrombolytics
- Drugs to stop the "chain reaction" of stroke damage
- Surgery to clean the insides of blood vessels and restore blood flow
- Procedures to dilate blocked blood vessels
- Offer treatments available up to 8 hours of onset of stroke signs and symptoms
If the stroke is caused by hemorrhage, treatment could include:
- Drugs that maintain normal clotting
- Surgery to remove blood in the brain and decrease pressure on the brain
- Surgery to fix broken blood vessels
- Drugs that prevent or reverse swelling in the brain
Most patients experiencing stroke are hospitalized and monitoring and treatment continues with nursing and other health care professionals trained in stroke care.
"Brain attack" or stroke remains the nation's third leading cause of death as well as a leading cause of functional disability. The time is right to focus on prevention and education as key components to avoiding a stroke.
A personal stroke risk assessment may include:
- Personal and family stroke-risk history
- Blood pressure screening
- Check for erratic heart rate
- Carotid bruits
- Informative literature from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
- Lack of exercise
- Age over 55
- Family or personal history of heart disease