Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Simple pulse check: Potential tool for stroke survivor care

I've seen a lot of needles, scalpels, and other tools that are at least somewhat invasive. Most of them did a lot more good than harm, and if I had to do it all over, I'd probably say yes again in the great majority of the time.

Indeed, today, I had a knee injection (virtually painless) that made good sense in my medical care.

Still, "noninvasive" is a term I like, so I was interested in hearing that a simple routine pulse check may detect the possibility of a second stroke, study says:
"Screening pulse is the method of choice for checking for irregular heartbeat for people over age 65 who have never had a stroke. Our study shows it may be a safe, effective, noninvasive and easy way to identify people who might need more thorough monitoring to prevent a second stroke," said study author Dr. Bernd Kallmunzer, of Erlangen University in Germany.
The study included more than 250 people who survived an ischemic stroke (blocked blood flow to the brain). Either the patients or their relatives were taught how to monitor the pulse to detect an irregular heartbeat.
Pulse checks taken by patients and relatives were nearly as accurate as those taken by health care workers, according to the study published online July 23 in the journal Neurology.

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