The amount of time it takes to receive treatment and the location and severity of the stroke are the three factors that determine how much damage is done by a stroke and what therapies will be needed to help the patient recover. While there is little control over the location and severity of the stroke, we have some control over time.
Time is our enemy when it comes to stroke; a stroke victim can lose 2,000,000 brain cells every minute. Every effort must be made to reach a stroke victim as soon as possible, which is why we created Neuralert Stroke Detection wristbands, to alert medical personnel as soon as possible and limit the damage caused by stroke.
Typical post-stroke injuries
After a stroke, most people will experience at least several of these problems to some degree:
- Paralysis, partial paralysis, or weakness on one or both sides of the body
- Cognitive problems, such as thinking clearly, awareness, memory, judgment, and learning
- Difficulty understanding or forming speech
- Emotional issues – extreme or unresponsive emotions, inappropriate emotional responses, depression, confusion
- Numbness or abnormal sensations
- Pain in extremities
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Mobility limitations – gait, balance, spatial judgment problems
The recovery program will be specialized to the patient’s particular needs. Immediately after the stroke, a rehabilitation team consisting of a variety of therapists, speech-language pathologists, and nurses will meet daily to discuss the patient’s condition, determine the day’s plan, and provide therapy multiple times throughout the day. A physician may also be involved to oversee medication, and a psychiatrist may offer necessary treatment. Types of therapy may include physical, occupational, speech, and swallow therapies.
Physical therapy helps patients strengthen their muscles and relearn critical movements, such as walking, grasping, balancing, and coordination.
Occupational therapy focuses on helping patients relearn everyday activities, such as eating, drinking, dressing, bathing, reading, and writing.
Speech-language therapy helps stroke patients with both understanding and producing speech. Any of these three therapies could incorporate swallow therapy, which is critical to help patients eat and drink without choking.
Cognitive remediation helps with higher-ordered executive functions, such as information processing, completing sequences of steps in a task, memory, and emotional control.
A stroke patient is typically hospitalized for 5-7 days, and depending upon their condition, may be transferred to a rehab center as an inpatient or outpatient. Starting therapy as soon as possible after stroke is critical to recovery, but keeping it up is even more important. A regimen that the outpatient does not continue cannot help the patient improve. Some stroke patients may be unwilling or unmotivated, but this is often a function of their injuries. Loved ones should gently and lovingly insist, ensuring that the stroke patient continues therapy for the fully-prescribed period.
Stroke follow-up usually follows a period of one to three months. Many patients will improve significantly in this time. However, it is important for the patient to continue to work on the therapies that have been prescribed with the goal to continue to improve. Setbacks and plateaus happen, but patients must not become discouraged and should continue to stimulate their minds and their bodies to continue to stay strong and emotionally balanced.
Unfortunately, statistics indicate that those who have strokes are at an increased risk for another stroke. A medical monitor could inform healthcare professionals as soon stroke symptoms begin to present themselves, speeding lifesaving medical aid to the patient before it’s too late.
Neuralert Technologies combines a unique, non-invasive wristband with a state-of-the-art patented algorithm developed by the University of Pennsylvania to detect asymmetry in arm movement, one of the initial indications of stroke onset. More and more hospitals and doctors are turning to Neuralert for both inpatient and outpatient monitoring for signs of stroke. Ask your doctor about Neuralert Stroke Detection Technology.