Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Another way to look at it

In a continuing effort to make sure people understand the importance of stroke signs and the need to get help, here are five symptoms you need to know to recognize a stroke:

The key is to immediately get to the emergency room for a brain scan to detect which type of stroke has hit. If it's ischemic—caused by a blood clot—the best treatment is a clot-dissolving drug called tissue plasminogen activator, or TPA, and the quicker the treatment, the less the disabling damage. Most hospitals will treat stroke patients with TPA only if the medicine can be injected within three hours of the appearance of symptoms, which is why getting to the hospital is such an urgent matter. A recent study found, however, that TPA can be safe and effective up to 4½ hours after a stroke. Treatment for hemorrhagic stroke, caused by a bleeding vessel in the brain, involves lowering blood pressure and reducing swelling in the brain.
Again, not every symptom will appear. But if just one shows, you know what to do.

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