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Stroke is a medical disorder that happens when the flow and supply of blood to the brain is disrupted. The main cause of the disruption in the supply and flow of blood to the brain is blood clots. Nevertheless, artery breaks or ruptures can occasionally cause disruption. When the arteries providing blood to the brain become blocked or torn, the brain is deprived of the nutrients it need to function properly. This causes the cells in the afflicted region of the brain to die. Strokes are classified into two types based on their cause. The first form of stroke is called ischemic stroke caused by clots in the interfering with the blood flow. The second type of stroke is referred to as the hemorrhagic stroke. This one is caused by the rupturing of blood vessels.
Stroke is the primary cause of physical incapacitation in adults globally. It is also the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and the third in the United Kingdom. After a stroke has happened, patients experience problems with walking, speech and general body weakness. Most of the patients also remain dependent on their families to carry out daily activities (Lawson & Gibbons, 2009).
The most common form of stroke is the Ischemic stroke which results from blood clots in the blood vessels interfering with the supply of blood to the brain. Blood clots normally happen in regions of the blood vessels which have grown narrow or even blocked over a period due to the deposit of fatty substances called plaque. Blood vessels ordinarily become narrow as people advance in age, but certain things or lifestyles can fasten that process. Individuals who engage in certain risk lifestyles such as excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking are more susceptible to suffering from the stroke. Other causes include obesity, diabetes and excessive cholesterol levels in the blood. Ischemic stroke is also caused by a condition known as atrial fibrillation. This is an irregular heartbeat that causes clots of blood in the heart, which eventually leave the heart and block blood vessels. However, the second form of stroke called Hemorrhagic stroke is very rare. This kind of stroke occurs when blood vessels burst, resulting in internal bleeding around the brain. The major cause of this type of stroke is high blood pressure in the body that weakens blood vessels in the body making them more prone to bursting. The risk of high blood pressure in humans is enhanced by obesity, smoking, excessive intake of alcoholic drinks, little physical activity and emotional stress (Moore).
Early detection of stroke is critical to successful treatment and rehabilitation. However, only a small percentage of individuals recognize the symptoms of stroke. It is, thus, valuable to have an awareness campaign aimed at educating the public about stroke. Any lateness in detecting a stroke in patients may have devastating impacts. Stroke patients lose an average of about 1.9 million neurons every single minute they remain without treatment (Lawson & Gibbons, 2009). Timely detection, treatment, and rehabilitation can prevent long-term physical incapacitation and help a patient lead a normal life thereafter (Green et al. 2011).
Patients receiving treatment immediately they suffer from a stroke is very important. Timely medical attention prevents the chance of long-term disability and even death. The survival rate for stroke patients has recently improved courtesy of improvements in medicine. Tissue Plasminogen activator is the only Federal Drug Administration-approved medication for treatment of stroke. The drug works by enhancing the dissolution of blood clots in affected areas and improving blood flow. If the drug is administered promptly, it improves the chance of recovering and surviving the stroke. Most patients do not receive the medication in good enough time, thus suffering from long-term disability and even dying. This is why it important to receive immediate medical attention after suffering from a stroke (Why Getting Quick Stroke Treatment Is Important).
Innovation in treatment methods like thrombolysis, training of specialized nurses and the emergence of special stroke units has assisted in the treatment and management of stroke in patients. However, for the world and the country to make any forward strides in prevention and management, we need to address the root causes of stroke. Conscious efforts must be made to reduce risk lifestyles like excessive drinking, smoking, and eating of unhealthy foods that increase cholesterol in the blood. People also need to exercise regularly to remain fit and healthy. Moreover, emergency nurses need to detect the signs of stroke early enough to prevent long-term health implications on the affected people.
Green, T., Kelloway, L., Davies-Schinkel, C., Hill, M., & Lindsay, M. P. (2011). Nurses' accountability for stroke quality of care: Part one: Review of the literature on nursing- sensitive patient outcome. Canadian Journal Of Neuroscience Nursing, 33(3), 13-23.
Lawson, C., & Gibbons, D. (2009). Acute stroke management in emergency departments. Emergency Nurse, 17(5), 30-34.
Moore, D. (n.d). Urgent care for stroke patients: Timing is everything. American Nurses Today. Retrieved Sept. 15, 2017, from https://www.americannursetoday.com/urgent-care-stroke- patients-timing-everything/
Why Getting Quick Stroke Treatment Is Important. (2017). American Stroke Association. Retrieved Sept. 16, 2017, from http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/General/Why-Getting-Quick-Stroke- Treatment-Is-Important_UCM_451540_Article.jsp#.WbxpvrIjHIU
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