Hospital Care for Stroke Patients

Most of us have probably heard of strokes. In basic terms, a stroke happens when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted which then causes brain cells to shut down and die because of the lack of oxygen. Strokes can be fatal and are among the leading causes of death in the United States. With therapy and medication, many stroke patients are able to recover and eventually go back to their normal way of life. However, some patients may develop serious and long-term disabilities.

Around 80 percent of strokes are ischemic. This occurs when a blood clot blocks blood vessel or artery that feeds the brain. In the case of hemorrhagic strokes, a blood vessel inside the brain breaks and bleeds which causes the brain to swell. This in turn damages tissues in the brain. Since strokes affect the brain, they also affect the entire body. Common disabilities include paralysis, thinking problems and speech.

Anyone can have a stroke. Age is a significant risk factor, as the chances of getting a stroke increase as people get older. Genetics is also a key factor, so patients who have a family history of stroke need to be more careful with their diet and lifestyle. Men may have higher risk factors for stroke due to their reaction to stress, although women are just as susceptible especially if they are not cautious with their health.

A stroke, whether mild or massive, requires urgent medical attention. Immediate action can save lives and reduce disability. Stroke patients should be taken to a San Joaquin hospital within 3 hours after showing symptoms. Depending on the severity and nature of the stroke, a patient may be required to stay at the hospital for a few days or up to several weeks for until they become stable.

At most any hospital doctors treating a stroke patient will likely perform a complete physical and neurological exam to check the patient's problem with vision, movement, sensation, reflexes, understanding and speech. The doctor also watches out for an abnormal sound called "bruit" which is caused by an irregular blood flow.

After surviving a stroke, patients undergo treatment and therapy to restore their normal function and prevent future strokes. The recovery time and treatment at San Joaquin Hospital Bakersfield differs from person to person. Mobility, cognitive skills and speech may be recovered in just a few weeks or months after a stroke.

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