Stroke is a devastating problem and it is a medical emergency where there is paralysis of one side of the body with or without speech being affected. It is of three types. Thrombosis, haemorrhagic and TIA (transient ischemic attack). Thrombosis is the most common where atherosclerosis plaque (fatty obstruction in the blood vessel) blocking the blood flow to the brain causing the death of the brain tissue that are supplied by that portion of the blood vessel.
Haemorrhagic is the rupture of the blood vessel supplying the brain which is a life threatening condition if not managed properly. TIA is a condition where there was a temporary block in the blood vessel but within couple of minutes the blockage is cleared and there is restoration of blood supply to the brain. It is a warning sign and timely medical intervention is needed. 10% of TIAs can result in full blown stroke.
In acute stroke one has to follow FAST action. Facial weakness (drooling, facial muscle weakness), Arm dropped (inability to move the upper limb), Speech affected(inability to call for help) and Time (timely intervention by rushing to the emergency).
Once the patient has reached the emergency , Neurologist will examine the patient with necessary investigation like CT scan, MRI etc and administer the appropriate medication within that window period to prevent residual paralysis. The patient will be shifted to Intensive care unit where critical Nursing care is of at most important. In ICU the patient will be under close observation by the Doctors and Nurses for 2-3 days on their vitals, intake, conscious levels, output etc. Once the patient is out of the danger he/she will be shifted to the room. Now the Nurses and Physiotherapists should work closely together in proper positioning of the patient, skin care, proper turning, proper shifting (educating the care givers like Ward boys, Ayyammas on safe handling and shifting the patient and stroke rehab involving occupational therapist and speech therapists too. Once the patient is stabilized, he/she will be shifted to his/home.
Once the patient comes home the family can get the help of a medical care taker for daily needs like brushing the teeth, taking bath etc and a stroke rehab team consisting of Physiotherapist, Occupational therapist and Speech therapist for full functional recovery of the patient.
In nutshell, if the stroke patients are handled well right from the start the recovery will be 100% with good rehab team.