Stroke Diagnosis and Treatment
In past years, stroke was the fourth-highest leading cause of death in the United States. Thanks to advances in medical technology and treatments, it now ranks fifth. This is still high, but it also means thousands of lives have been saved, and people who have had a stroke often recover to enjoy a better quality of life.
Treatment for a stroke depends on the type of stroke the patient is experiencing. The ischemic stroke is caused when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot. This is the most common type of stroke, affecting 87% of all stroke victims. Treatment for these types of strokes involve removing or breaking up the clot.
Less common, but still devastating, is the hemorrhagic stroke. In this case, the patient experiences a ruptured blood vessel within the brain. The goal of treating hemorrhagic stroke is to stop the bleeding.
Symptoms of a Stroke
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a stroke and calling 9-1-1 immediately are key in minimizing the effects. Once the stroke has occurred, there is a three-hour window for a stroke victim to get the help needed for optimal recovery.
By acting F.A.S.T., you can improve the person’s chances for recovery. This simple test can be used by anyone for assessing a possible stroke victim:
- F – Face: Ask the person to smile and check to see if one side of the face droops.
- A – Arms: Ask the person to raise his or her arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- S – Speech: Have the person repeat a simple phrase. Listen for slurred or strange speech.
- T – Time: If any of these symptoms are present, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Record the time at which you notice the first signs of a problem. This will help the medical team decide the best treatment. Call an ambulance rather than driving to the hospital yourself. The medical team can begin to administer help immediately, and time is all-important when dealing with stroke.
Transient ischemic attacks can be brief and clear up after only a few minutes. It can be tempting to ignore these minor occurrences, but they are signs of a serious medical condition that needs treatment. Any signs of a stroke, no matter how short-lived, should be addressed by a medical professional.
You can call on Dr. Michael for guidance and follow-up care if you or a loved one has experienced a stroke. Contact our office today for information or to schedule an appointment to assess your risk for stroke.