First Aid Management of Stroke

Stroke also called as cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is an acute neurological injury and one of the major causes of death. It can be classified in to two main categories,

  • Ischemic stroke ( where a blood clot forms in blood vessels supplying brain)
  • Hemorrhagic stroke (there is bleeding into the brain due to rupture of a blood vessel/aneurism)

As a result blood supply to the part of the brain supplied by the corresponding blood vessel is compromised and leads to reduction in oxygen supply to brain cells (neurons) causing them damage or cell death. It should be noted that the neurons in the body cannot be replaced after death like some other cells (e.g. skin) hence the damage is permanent. According to the area damaged in the brain, various clinical outcomes can be seen in these patients. Few examples include paralysis of an arm/leg or even a whole side of body, loss of speech, loss of memory and higher brain functions etc.

This condition is a medical emergency and prompt treatment can minimize the size of damage, increase the recovery speed and enhance the quality of life. Once the diagnosis of stroke is established various other studies are performed to find an underline cause.First Aid Management of Stroke

Some of the common causes and risk factors of stroke are:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Following myocardial infarction
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Sedentary life style
  • Obesity (BMI >30)
  • Unhealthy diet – high in saturated fat, low fiber
  • Rhythm  abnormalities of heart – e.g. atrial fibrillation
  • High serum cholesterol level
  • Anticoagulant drug usage
  • Major surgery
  • Genetic predisposition/positive family history
  • Known connective tissue disorders (e.g. SLE)

Signs and symptoms of Stroke:

  • Sudden onset numbness of a limb/face/side of body
  • Sudden onset weakness of the body ( face , arm , leg )
  • Confusion and alteration of the level of consciousness
  • Blurred vision  or double vision
  • Headache
  • Loss of balance and coordination
  • Slurring of speech
  • Inability of swallowing
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Loss of bladder, bowel control

One Response to “First Aid Management of Stroke”

  1. Mesho August 8, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    There is no possible way that you can learn pperor CPR online. In fact, I have run into a lot of people who are certified through traditional classroom/lab courses who are not able to pperorly perform CPR when forced to. Stick to a reputable classroom/lab instructor who is known for effectively teaching their students and not just anxious to push cards.

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