Introduction to Radiologic Technology
Giselle Thomas-Perez, BA, RT(R)(M)
May 20, 2014
Brain cell function requires a continuous delivery of oxygen and glucose from the bloodstream. A stroke is a rapid death of brain tissue due to a disturbance in blood supply.. Blood flow can be compromised in a variety of ways. Stroke is also referred to as cerebrovascular accident (CVA).
Watch for these signs and symptoms if you think you or someone else may be having a stroke. Note when your signs and symptoms begin, because the length of time they have been present may guide your treatment decisions:
• Trouble with walking. You may stumble or experience sudden dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination.
• Trouble with speaking and understanding. You may experience confusion. (CNN Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg. Try to raise both your arms over your head at the same time. If one arm begins to fall, you may be having a stroke. Similarly, one side of your mouth may droop when you try to smile.
• Trouble with seeing in one or both eyes. You may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, and you may see double.
• Headache. A sudden, severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness, may indicate you're having a stroke.
Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs or symptoms of a stroke, even if they seem to fluctuate or disappear.
• Time. If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
Call 911 or your local emergency number right away. Don't wait to see if symptoms go away. Every minute counts. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and disability.
The most common ischemic strokes include:
• Thrombotic stroke. A thrombotic stroke occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one of the arteries that supply blood to your brain.
• Embolic stroke. An embolic stroke occurs when a blood clot or other debris forms away from your brain
• Lifestyle risk factors:
Being overweight or obese, Physical inactivity, Heavy or binge drinking, Use of illicit drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines
Potentially treatable risk factors
High blood pressure — risk of stroke begins to increase at blood pressure readings higher than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), cigarette smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, high cholesterol, diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, heart defects, heart infection or abnormal heart rhythm.
To determine the most appropriate treatment for your stroke, your emergency team needs to evaluate the kind of stroke you're having and the areas of your brain affected by the stroke. Your doctor may use several tests to determine your risk of stroke, including:
• Physical examination. Your doctor will ask you or a family member what symptoms you've been having, when they started and what you were doing when they began.