Heart Health: What is a stroke? - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Heart Health: What is a stroke?


Matt Breen says, "Dr. Artang we hear about a family member or friend who had a stroke. What is stroke?"

Dr. Ramin Artang, Mercy Cardiology, says "Stroke is sudden lack of blood supply to brain tissue. It can happen in 2 different ways. One is sudden blockage of a vessel to the brain or inside the brain which is about 80% of all strokes. The other one is a bleeding stroke."

Matt Breen says, "What are the symptoms of the stroke?"

Dr. Ramin Artang, Mercy Cardiology, says "The symptoms depend on the part of brain that is involved. As you see on this image, each segment of the brain has a particular function. The typical/classical symptoms are: sudden onset of hand, arm, or leg weakness, weakness of face muscles on one side of the body, mumbled speech or inability to speak. In more severe cases loss of consciousness and progression to death."

Matt Breen says, "Is this considered a medical emergency?"

Dr. Ramin Artang, Mercy Cardiology, says "Yes absolutely. This is considered a medical emergency and the success of treatment is dependent on how fast treatment starts."

Matt Breen says, "What are the treatments for stroke?"

Dr. Ramin Artang, Mercy Cardiology, says "Most important part of the care is how fast the care is initiated. It's important to know the exact time of the symptom onset. Second question is, was this a sudden blockage of the vessel or sudden bleeding or hemorrhagic stroke. This question can quickly be answered with a CT scan of the brain that can happen within the first few minutes of the patient presenting to the emergency room. If the symptom onset is within 4.5 hours and it is a sudden blockage of a vessel, a potent blood thinner known as TPA is used in selected patients. Otherwise and in majority of the cases we provide supportive treatment, such as iv fluids, control of blood sugar, control of fever, nutrition and finally physiotherapy and rehabilitation. Except for severe stroke, most people do relatively well after such event. Physiotherapy and exercise are the most important part of the long term care and success of treatment."

Matt Breen says, "How do we prevent stroke from happening?"

Dr. Ramin Artang, Mercy Cardiology, says "We know the risk factors for stroke are, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, Atrial fibrillation, family history and age. So factors we can do something about are to have good control of blood pressure, blood sugar, smoking cessation."

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