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Prevent a Stroke

Strokes

Strokes are reported as the third largest cause of death in the U.S. Thirty percent of stroke survivors lose some of their independence, and experience a diminished quality of life. For this reason, it is important that people take preventive measures to decrease the chance of suffering from a stroke. While prevention is always a significant first step for lessening a person's risk for stroke, this should not be your family's only source of defense against the detrimental results of a stroke.

Unfortunately, some individuals will make every effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but will still experience a stroke. Knowing the signs of a stroke so you can get immediate medical attention yourself, or help a friend or family member in trouble, is a responsible decision. To prevent stroke complications and lessen the risk of permanent brain damage, seeking immediate help is crucial.

Strokes Defined

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is compromised. When that oxygen-starved portion of the brain starts to die, symptoms occur. Each portion of the brain controls certain parts of the body. This relationship explains why certain localized areas of the body are impacted by strokes.

There are two different types of strokes. The most common type of stroke is an ischemic stroke, with about 80 percent of strokes being identified in this category. This stroke is caused by a blood clot that has traveled to the brain. The blood clot may have formed in a blood vessel in the brain or could be from another part of the body. As the most deadly type of stroke, a hemmorhagic stroke is caused by an artery in the brain leaking blood. While this condition is less common, it is much more serious.

Symptoms

A stroke victim experiences recognizable symptoms. While these symptoms aren't exclusively a sign of stroke, they are all signals that medical attention should be sought immediately for diagnosis purposes and to improve a patient's prognosis. Common and easily recognizable stroke symptoms include difficulty speaking or sudden confusion. Other physical signs that should be taken seriously and prompt medical attention, are sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arms or legs. This feeling is often accompanied by a tingling sensation. Vision problems, dizziness or a severe headache with no explainable cause should also be taken seriously, as possible signs of a stroke.

Stroke Diagnosis and Treatments

A stroke victim requires immediate medical attention to prevent permanent brain damage. Within minutes, brain damage can occur. The first test we will recommend is a CT scan. Treatment options are recommended based on what is going on inside the brain. A scan shows if there is bleeding or a mass in the brain, and if so, where the bleeding is located. A mass in the brain can cause symptoms similar to a stroke.

TPA is a drug we prescribe for a stroke vicitim if we get to them within four and a half hours of when symptoms first started. This narrow window of opportunity is the reason we encourage patients experiencing any stroke symptoms to come in to the office immediately. Waiting around to see if symptoms will improve is not advisable. In more than one-third of patients, the drug TPA can actually reverse stroke symptoms if adminstered in time. Heparin and aspirin are also prescribed to treat stroke patients. For some types of strokes, these drugs actually worsen the problem.

For immediate medical attention, please call us at 212-740-4000. Other contact information includes our email address at contactus@nightdaymedical.com. Feel free to visit our website for an overview about our services at www.nightdaymedical.com.