When you have a hemorrhagic (say "heh-muh-RA-jick") stroke, it means that a blood vessel in the brain has burst open or has started to leak. When the blood spills into the space inside and around the brain, it damages nearby nerve cells.
This is different from an ischemic (say "iss-KEE-mick") stroke, which happens when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain.
The brain damage from a stroke starts within minutes. Quick treatment can help limit damage to the brain and make recovery more likely.
People who have had a stroke may have a hard time talking, understanding things, and making decisions. They may have to relearn daily activities, such as how to eat, bathe, and dress. How well someone recovers from a stroke depends on how quickly the person gets to the hospital, where in the brain the stroke happened, and how severe it was. Stroke rehabilitation, which includes training and therapy, also helps people recover.
If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 or other emergency services right away.
See your doctor if you have symptoms that seem like a stroke, even if they go away quickly. You may have had a transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes called a mini-stroke. A TIA is a warning that a stroke may happen soon. Getting early treatment for a TIA can help prevent a stroke.
A hemorrhagic stroke happens to blood vessels that have been weakened. The most common causes of weakened blood vessels in the brain are:
Anticoagulant and antiplatelet medicines can also cause bleeding in the brain. These medicines, also called bloodthinners, increase the time it takes for a blood clot to form.
Emergency treatment is done to stop the bleeding and prevent damage to the brain.
Ask your doctor if a stroke rehab program is right for you. Rehab increases your chances of getting back some of the abilities you lost.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: March 20, 2017
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology & Richard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
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