3 Facts You Should Know About Your Parent's Experience With And Recovery From An Ischemic Stroke

15 August 2016
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog


If your mom or dad has recently experienced an ischemic stroke, it is important to remember that the survival rate for that type of neurological event is much better than it was for prior generations. In addition, an ischemic stroke is by far the most common type of stroke and immediate medical care is essential to long-term recovery. When you need to understand what your parent is going through and you would like to help them make the most appropriate heath care choices for their future, it is a good idea to be aware of the following information.

#1-Understand What Happened To Your Parent

Although it may not seem easy, it is important in many ways to understand that the stroke could have been much worse. A hemorrhagic stroke is associated with a higher fatality rate than an ischemic event. In addition, evidence suggests that people who experienced a hemorrhagic stroke are more likely to experience additional strokes in the months and years following the first event.

An ischemic stroke occurs as the result of a blocked artery to the vein. When blood flow to the brain is interrupted, the affected cells can soon quit working. In comparison, a hemorrhagic stroke occurs when blood invades brain tissue due to the rupture of a damaged blood vessel and the resulting damage can be much more significant. Almost nine out of ten strokes that occur today are ischemic events.

#2-Immediate Medical Care Is Essential To Recovery

One of the more confusing aspects related to strokes is often the time limits that can impact your options. For instance, as of August 2016, the only FDA approved medication that is known to limit or reverse the impact of a stroke is tPa, which is also known as tissue plasminogen activator.

It is useful because if it is given within a small window of time after an ischemic stroke, it can dissolve part or all of the clot and minimize the damage it caused. Unfortunately, that window of time is usually no more than three hours from when the stroke occurred, although in some instances, it can be successful up to 4.5 hours after the event. If the stroke is not diagnosed within that time-frame, managing the symptoms of the stroke becomes necessary, as the results are expected to be permanent.

#3-Physical, Occupational, Speech, And Other Therapies Can Help Stroke Patients Regain Skills And Abilities

If the diagnosis of an ischemic stroke was made too late or the tPa was not fully successful, your neurologist may suggest aggressive physical, occupational, speech or cognitive therapies in order to help the patient recover their vital skills. In some areas, all of those therapies are lumped together and known collectively as stroke rehab. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the preferences of the patient and other pertinent factors, that therapy can be available as either outpatient or inpatient procedures.

However, this is again a situation where time is of the essence, as therapies now may have a better impact on your parent's recovery than if you were to delay it unnecessarily. If your mom or dad is medically stable at this time, it is a good idea to ask when the soonest is that therapies can begin.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that learning that your mother or father has experienced a stroke of any kind can be terrifying. However, by being aware of the information provided above, you will be more able to help your parent make the right heath care choices at this difficult time. 

For more information, contact Mohsen M. Hamza, M.D. or a similar medical professional.