Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How to minimize damage from strokes, according to experts

Date:
May 14, 2012
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Following a stroke, factors as varied as blood sugar, body temperature and position in bed can affect patient outcomes, researchers report.

Following a stroke, factors as varied as blood sugar, body temperature and position in bed can affect patient outcomes, Loyola University Medical Center researchers report.

In a review article in the journal MedLink Neurology, first author Murray Flaster, MD, PhD and colleagues summarize the latest research on caring for ischemic stroke patients. (Most strokes are ischemic, meaning they are caused by blood clots.)

"The period immediately following an acute ischemic stroke is a time of significant risk," the Loyola neurologists write. "Meticulous attention to the care of the stroke patient during this time can prevent further neurologic injury and minimize common complications, optimizing the chance of functional recovery."

Stroke care has two main objectives -- minimizing injury to brain tissue and preventing and treating the many neurologic and medical complications that can occur just after a stroke.

The authors discuss the many complex factors that affect outcomes. For example, there is considerable evidence of a link between hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and poor outcomes after stroke. The authors recommend strict blood sugar control, using frequent finger-stick glucose checks and aggressive insulin treatment.

For each 1 degree C increase in the body temperature of stroke patients, the risk of death or severe disability more than doubles. Therapeutic cooling has been shown to help cardiac arrest patients, and clinical trials are underway to determine whether such cooling could also help stroke patients. Until those trials are completed, the goal should be to keep normal temperatures (between 95.9 and 99.5 degrees F).

Position in bed also is important, because sitting upright decreases blood flow in the brain. A common practice is to keep the patient lying flat for 24 hours. If a patient has orthopnea (difficulty breathing while lying flat), the head of the bed should be kept at the lowest elevation the patient can tolerate.

The authors discuss many other issues in stroke care, including blood pressure management; blood volume; statin therapy; management of complications such as pneumonia and sepsis; heart attack and other cardiac problems; blood clots; infection; malnutrition and aspiration; brain swelling; seizures; recurrent stroke; and brain hemorrhages.

Studies have shown that hospital units that specialize in stroke care decrease mortality, increase the likelihood of being discharged to home and improve functional status and quality of life.

All patients should receive supportive care -- including those who suffer major strokes and the elderly. "Even in these populations, the majority of patients will survive their stroke," the authors write. "The degree of functional recovery, however, may be dramatically impacted by the intensity and appropriateness of supportive care." Co-authors are Loyola neurologists and stroke specialists Sarkis Morales-Vidal, MD, Michael Schneck, MD, and Jose Biller, MD.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "How to minimize damage from strokes, according to experts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120514203929.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2012, May 14). How to minimize damage from strokes, according to experts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120514203929.htm
Loyola University Health System. "How to minimize damage from strokes, according to experts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120514203929.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins