What is a stroke
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. This is a life-threating condition if not treated immediately. Without a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, cells will begin to die after just a few minutes. Brain cell death leads to a loss of brain function; possible impairments with movement, speech, thinking, memory and other bodily functions; paralysis; or even death.
Different Types of Strokes
Strokes can be caused by a formation of a clot in your brain (thrombosis), blockage (embolism) or bleeding (hemorrhage).
- Ischemic Stroke: Occurs when blood carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked. Ischemic strokes are the most common and account for over 80% of all strokes. Ischemic strokes can be further divided into two types.
- Cerebral thrombosis: Caused by a blood clot that develops in the blood vessels inside the brain.
- Cerebral embolism: Caused by a blood clot or plaque debris that develops elsewhere in the body. Part of the blood clot breaks loose and travels to one of the blood vessels in the brain via the bloodstream.
- Hemorrhagic Stroke: Caused by an aneurysm, or other blood vessel abnormality that has ruptured and is bleeding. When there is bleeding into the brain, cells and tissues do not receive enough oxygen and nutrients.
- Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): Caused by a temporary clot. Many refer to this as a “mini stroke” and it should be viewed as a very serious warning sign. A person who has a TIA also needs to seek emergency care immediately.
Stroke Treatments and Proceedures
There are many factors to consider when treating the different types of strokes. Your healthcare team will decide based on your specific needs, medical history and more. Some may include:
- Tenecteplase (TNKase): This medicine must be given 4.5 hours from the last time someone saw you without symptoms. Once a patient arrives in our emergency department, diagnosis-to-treatment time is approximately 45 minutes for TNKase administration.
- Thrombectomy: Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital is the only hospital in St. Charles County to offer thrombectomy stroke care. This minimally invasive procedure opens a blocked artery and restores blood flow to the brain.
- Blood pressure management: Medicine may be necessary to lower the patient’s blood pressure and limit the bleeding. This makes it easier for clotting to seal the damaged blood vessel.
- Fibrinolytic therapy: This medicine may be necessary to breakdown blood clots formed in blood vessels.
- Surgery: In some stroke cases surgery might be necessary to relieve the pressure on the brain of the patient.
Telestroke Technology for Patients
Within minutes telestroke technology brings stroke specialists from Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University Physicians right to the bedside of patients at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital – 24/7. Telestroke is not available at every hospital and this technology provides patients:
- Higher rates of receiving potentially life-saving therapies.
- Access to an even more advanced level of stroke care.
- Improved outcomes in long-term stroke recovery.
- Inpatient services: Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital offers inpatient physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy programs for our patients who are recovering from a stroke.
- Outpatient services: To help a person recover and regain abilities after they are discharged, patients may continue receiving stroke therapy services through The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis – St. Peters. These outpatient services are located on the third floor of Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital.
Stroke Support Group
Whether you are a stroke survivor or taking care of a loved one, we invite you to join our support group community.
John shares his story of surviving his stroke and what he is doing to educate others through the stroke support group.
Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital
10 Hospital Drive
St. Peters, Missouri 63376
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