An Ischemic stroke can be defined as a weakness on one side of the body which can lead to a brain injury, memory loss, and death. Its main cause is a blocked artery in the brain.
Patient interview on the timing of the onset of symptoms and medical history, physical and neurological examinations, some blood tests, brain scans (CT and MRI) to determine the kind of stroke one has had.
• Bad headaches, which lead to the clotting caused by high pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid.
• Congestive heart failure
• Sclerosis – a lot of fat in the veins
• Trauma – caused by injury to the brain
• Stress – leading to hypertension.
• Developing weakness on one side of the body e.g. the arm
• Difficulty in speech
• Drooping face
• Memory loss
• Inability to move
• Tension headache
Rush to hospital. Delays in treatment (over 4.5 hours) could lead to irreversible brain damage. The doctors will deal with the signs and symptoms.
• Long term managements involves the management of the causes; for instance if it was a consequence of HIV, you manage this. If it was hypertension, diabetes or heart disease you manage these.
• Junior aspirin, which is usually taken for life after a stroke, along with other medication as prescribed by your physician.
• Fats are dealt with Atorvastatin.
• Physiotherapy is crucial
• Dietary changes and exercise
• Stress management
• Reduce alcohol intake to one glass daily for women and two glasses for a man
• AVOID SMOKING – FIRST AND SECOND HAND
• Clinical depression: Unwanted emotional and physical reactions to changes and losses.
• Deep vein thrombosis: Blood clots form in veins of the legs because of immobility from stroke.
• Limb contractures: Shortened muscles in an arm or leg from reduced range of motion or lack of exercise.
• Pneumonia: Causes breathing problems, a complication of many major illnesses.
• Shoulder pain: From lack of support of an arm due to weakness or paralysis.
• Urinary tract infection and/or bladder control.
• Brain Damage
• Brain edema — swelling of the brain after a stroke.
NOTE: It is dangerous to stop taking medication without a doctor's advice. This may lead to recurrence, which in many cases, is fatal. One can live a normal life as long as you follow your doctor's advice on medication and lifestyle changes.
- Dr. Maurice Lusi, Rangel Park Hospital, Tassia.