• Acute Stroke

    Due to its abrupt onset and rapid progression, an acute stroke requires urgent care. During a stroke, brain cells die due to a lack of oxygen in the blood supply, caused by either a blockage or rupture of an artery to the brain. For many stroke patients, permanent effects include weakness or paralysis of one side of the body, difficulty or the inability to speak (aphasia), and incontinence of the bowel and/or bladder.

    In the case of an acute stroke, swallowing is often affected, as the weakness that affects the body also impairs the muscles that control swallowing. Furthermore, because acute stroke often results in immobility of the patient, there is an increased risk for blood clots to develop in leg veins. Should a clot form and travel upward, it may become lodged in the lungs, causing a potentially life-threatening situation.

    Lahey intensivists treat acute stroke patients by closely monitoring blood pressure levels, controlling high cholesterol, administering oxygen as necessary, and managing any co-existing medical problems (e.g., diabetes) that may place the patient at higher risk and affect his/her chances of recuperating. 
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  • An introduction from Dr. Andrew Villanueva