Go to the emergency room as quickly as possible if you believe you have had or may be having a stroke. Stroke is an
The most effective treatment for stroke is intravenous rtPA. This medicine works to dissolve the clot causing the stroke. If received within 3 hours of the first stroke symptoms, the drug can help prevent permanent problems. There is risk of serious bleeding with this treatment so it cannot be used in all cases.
Patients who can't be treated with clot-busting drugs will receive supportive treatments such as medicines to control blood pressure and high cholesterol, fluids, and medicines to prevent complications such as infections.
Patients may also need physical therapy following stroke. Diet changes may be recommended.
Twenty-five percent of people who have a stroke recover most or all of their function.
However, stroke and its complications can cause death.
- Pressure sores
loss of movementor sensation of a part of the body
- Orthopedic complications,
fractures, contractures, muscle spasticity
- Permanent loss of cognitive functions
- Disruption of communication, decreased social interaction
- Decreased ability to function or care for self
- Decreased life span
- Side effects of medications
Calling your health care provider
Go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911) if symptoms occur indicating a stroke.
Review Date: 02/20/2007
Reviewed By: Updated by: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: Greg Juhn, M.T.P.W., David R. Eltz, Kelli A. Stacy. Previously reviewed by Daniel Kantor, M.D., Director of the Comprehensive MS Center, Neuroscience Institute, University of Florida Health Science Center, Jacksonville, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. (April 2006)