Stroke is primarily caused by insufficient blood supply to the brain. This can occur in two ways; in the first instance, a blood vessel ruptures within the brain thereby causing death to brain tissues and secondly, blood supply to the brain is blocked. Strokes are medical emergencies and therefore require to be attended to urgently with treatment being sought within the earliest possible instance. Research shows that strokes rank as number 5 in the leading killer conditions across the globe. Despite stroke being fatal, it is worth noting that it is treatable and recovery from the condition is achievable. Some of the treatment options available for the condition include:
This medication is also called clot-busting’ as it involves dissolving blood clots to restore the flow of blood in the brain. This type of medication is used for treating ischaemic strokes and is administered in the form of injections of a drug called alteplase. This drug works best if it is administered within the earliest possible instance after the occurrence of stroke. Doctors do not recommend the use of the medication if over 4.5 hours have exceeded after the stroke has occurred. The rate of success of the alteplase after 4.5 hours is little and may not work at all.
This is an emergency medical procedure used for treating severe ischaemic strokes. The procedure helps in removing blood clots in brain tissues and restoring blood supply to the brain. However, the procedure is only effective in treating strokes caused by blood clots in large arteries in the brain. Just like other treatment options for stroke, thrombectomy works best if administered immediately after the occurrence of stroke.
Anticoagulants are given to people who have suffered from stroke as more of a preventive measure than a treatment option. They are administered immediately after a stroke has occurred to reduce the patient’s risk of developing blood clots in the brain in future. Most anticoagulants are long-term treatment options, but even so, there are some that are short-term and are administered as injections. Commonly used anticoagulants are such as dabigatran, apixaban, edoxaban, and warfarin.
Most stroke patients are offered antiplatelets in the form of aspirin administered regularly. These medications lower the risk of repeat clots occurring thereby preventing a possible recurrence of the condition. Unlike other treatment options for stroke, antiplatelets are not necessarily given immediately as they are not a primary treatment option for stroke.
In severe cases of stroke such as in hemorrhagic strokes, advanced treatment options like surgery are used. Surgery is used for removing blood clots from the brain as well as for repairing ruptured blood vessels. This surgical procedure is referred to as craniotomy. Surgical treatment of stroke is often risky, and if not done by an experienced surgeon, it often leads to fatalities like death or paralysis.
After you have been treated for stroke, doctors also offer supportive treatments to help patients in managing some of the health problems they will face during recovery. For instance, a feeding tube may be inserted into the stomach for feeding if the patient has difficulties with swallowing. In addition to this, fluids may be directly injected into blood veins to curb dehydration.
The best treatment option to use for stroke is identifying the causes and triggers of the condition. This, in turn, makes it easy to prevent the likelihood of the condition occurring. Some of the risk factors for the condition are such as smoking, blood pressure, obesity and lack of exercises.