Essay - Strokes Cerebrovascular Accidents, Often Called Strokes, are Interruptions to the...

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Cerebrovascular accidents, often called strokes, are interruptions to the blood flow in the brain. They can be caused by sudden blockage of a blood vessel (ischemic stroke), or rupture of ***** blood ***** (hemorrhagic *****). Strokes are medical emergencies that can cause coma, paralysis, muscle weakness, memory, speech/language or o*****r brain function problems (5). Immediate emergency treatment helps ensure the best possible outcome for a p*****tient who has had a stroke. Two thirds of all ***** occur in people over the age of 65 (5), and it is the third most common cause ***** death in ***** United States (Dougherty, 1998). ***** ***** a major cause of disability as well (Byington et. al., 2000).

***** strokes can have several causes. Sometimes an embolism, or blood clot, forms in one part ***** the body and travels to the ***** where it blocks a small ***** vessel. Thrombosis, or artery blockage, can also cut off blood flow, when a small blood clot forms on the arterial plaque. Most thrombotic strokes are caused by ***** combination of ***** vessel narrowing and a clot. Hemorrhagic strokes ***** when a blood vessel in the brain **********. These strokes can vary from very mild to *****. They may be caused ***** high blood pressure, a we*****kness in ***** blood *****, or a comb*****ation of both (5).

The risk fac*****rs for stroke can be divided into two groups: controllable and uncontrollable. When a person h***** several uncontrollable risk factors, it *****comes more important for him her to control the ones that can be.

Uncontrollable risk factors include

Age: The older the *****, the more likely they may have a *****.

Gender: more men than women have strokes

Race: Afri*****-Americans ***** Hispanics ***** ***** strokes ***** Caucasians

Family history


***** of a previous stroke

Controll*****ble risk factors:

High ***** pressure

Heart disease, particularly atrial fibrillation. ***** blood collects in the heart the risk of *****ming a blood clot increases.

***** cholesterol resulting in blood vessel blockage

Sleep apnea, which can cause spikes in blood pressure

*****, which damages blood vessels and raises blood pressure

Alcohol abuse


Symptoms ***** a stroke include sudden weakness or feeling of numbness, especially on one side of ***** *****; sudden difficulty speaking or confusion; sudden vision disturbance in one or ***** eyes: difficulty walk*****g, loss of balance or po***** coordination, or a sudden ********** severe headache (Barker, 2001). Less commonly, the patient can develop sudden nausea and vomiting marked by rapid onset, which may include a fever; or a brief loss of consciousness, which can be as mild as an apparent fainting spell ***** as severe as convulsion or ***** (5)

Emergency room nurses can provide a valuable first line ***** evaluation by using stroke checklists of symptoms and alerting the triage doctor if ***** suggest the possibility of a stroke. R*****pid diagnosis allows the medical team the most options for treatment whet***** it is drugs to dissolve ***** ***** or a c*****rotid artery stent (Dougherty, 1998) to improve blood


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