The First Few Hours After a Stroke
When you have a stroke, time is crucial. If you have any stroke symptoms, go to the hospital right away. Do not delay! The earlier treatment is started after symptoms begin, the more likely you are to survive and recover. Your doctor can be alerted as you are traveling to the hospital. Any relatives or friends who were with you when your symptoms started should go with you to the hospital.
At the Emergency Room
In the hospital, a doctor will assess your symptoms and when they occurred. You will also be asked about your medical history. You’ll also be asked about your health and risk factors. Family or friends can answer if you cannot. Tests are then done. You will likely have blood tests. You may also have a CT scan or an MRI. This will help determine what kind of stroke you have. The two types are blockage (ischemic stroke) or bleeding (hemorrhagic stroke). The type is important to know before treatment is started. This is because treatment that helps an ischemic stroke can kill a person who had a hemorrhagic stroke.
Acute-Phase Stroke Treatment
Treatment can begin as soon as your doctor knows what type of stroke you had and where it occurred, Phase one begins from the first minutes to the first hours after you begin having symptoms. It involves one or more of the following, depending on what kind of stroke you have:
Medication to dissolve clots (ischemic)
Medication to prevent blood clots (ischemic)
Tests to look for damage from the stroke
Procedures to stop bleeding (hemorrhagic)
The goal of the acute phase treatment is to minimize damage from the stroke. After the first several hours, treatment turns to your recovery and on preventing future strokes.
Symptoms of Stroke
Call 911 right away if you have any of the following, even if the symptom seems to get better:
If you are at risk for having a stroke: