Evidence Base Practice Managing Stroke
Cerebrovascular accidents happen every 45 seconds in the USA. A stroke has lethal consequences every 3 to 4 minutes. Approximately 60% of the survived cannot walk without assistance. Moreover, 26% of those injured spend half a year in hospital afterwards. However, due to the recent research, results of which are described in Evidence-Based Nursing Monographs, it is possible to minimize the effects of this illness and reduce its recurrence.
First, it is necessary to assess the condition of a patient paying attention to signs and symptoms of the stroke. The NIH Stroke Scale can be used for this purpose. Second, it is needed to use the noncontrast computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the brain to determine the stroke type. If it is an ischemic stroke, the possibility of thrombolytic therapy must be checked on. Moreover, the blood pressure and symptoms of increased intracranial pressure should be monitored on a constant basis. Lastly, there must be a collaboration with the physician concerning further examination.
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Thereafter, the needed treatment must be planned and implemented. It is important to maintain a patent airway, sometimes with supplemental oxygen if prescribed. Some patients need an intermittent pneumatic compression device applied to the legs. If necessary, administer a thrombolytic paying attention to adverse reactions. Medication may also include intake of aspirin within 48 hours of an ischemic stroke. In addition, it is vital to provide the proper nourishment including thickened fluids and semi-solid food. A patient must avoid consumption of thin liquids and extremely cold or hot meals. Moreover, the head of the bed must be elevated to prevent aspiration of food and drinks.
After the hospital treatment a patient should be prepared for a discharge. First, he must know the symptoms of the stroke and appeal for help as soon as possible. Second, a patient needs to follow medication regimens and to avoid various risk factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and sedentary lifestyle. In conclusion, it is important to promote his early activity and rehabilitation therapy.
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