Cerebral vascular accident or a stroke is the destruction of brain substance, resulting from thrombosis, intracranial hemorrhage, or embolism, which causes vascular insufficiency. In addition, it is an area of the brain denied blood and oxygen that is required and damage is done to a part of the cells. The effect of the patient depends upon where the damage occurs and the severity of the stroke.
Each year alone about 150,000 people in America die from a stroke or are seriously disabled. Stroke is among the top five causes of death. It generally happens very suddenly and it can take up to five to seven days to completely effect the patient. Depending on how many of the brain cells die during the stroke, and where the cells are located in the brain will determine the severity of the outcome. During the stroke, the supply of the blood to the brain has been severed and after four minutes, the brain cells begin to die.
Three out of ten victims of stroke within the first month will die and some will die at onset of the stroke and the remaining will recover to some extent. Some patients will recover completely from their strokes and some of these strokes can completely wear off. These are called transient ischaemic attacks and are a warning that a full-blown stroke can happen, unless some action is taken to prevent strokes from reoccurring.
Approximately twenty percent of strokes occur while the person is asleep and they do not realize they are having or have had a stroke until they awake. The reason for this is that the brain itself is incapable of feeling pain. One in three patients having a stroke will lose consciousness while they are having a stroke and a majority of the time these are the most severe cases. One half of these patients become confused and drowsy. It is normal to feel confused in this circumstance and it is hard to differentiate when there is clinical confusion. Medical tests must be done in order to confirm the patient has had a stroke and why they had a stroke, to find out what was the severity of the stroke, and what treatment is required to prevent another stroke. Within the first year, ten percent of these patients will have another stroke.
It is difficult to tell just how serious any stoke is until tests are made and some time has passed. The brain itself in the first few days begins to recover, and the patient may improve rapidly. After this progress starts to slow down, professionals can estimate how much progress the patient will be likely to make.
If doctors agree that a stroke has taken place, they may do other tests to determine where the stroke occurred, how large of an area is damaged, and how the blood flow with in the brain has been effected; they do this by taking a CAT scan. They may also take an ECG to determine if there is any heart disease that may have caused the...