Monday, November 19, 2012

What Happens During a Stroke

A stroke is a very dangerous medical event that occurs when the blood supply is cut off to the brain. This can take place for multiple reasons, but in every case it is crucial that elderly individuals receive medical attention as soon as possible. During a stroke, brain cells can die and cause permanent damage, resulting in a long list of complications for the senior who has suffered the event. By understanding what happens during a stroke, senior care professionals know that you can better navigate the situation and, ultimately, more effectively secure the care that your loved one needs.

A stroke can be caused by two different ways in which blood flow to the brain is limited. The first is a blood clot. When a blood clot blocks an artery, blood cannot move up into the brain. This blood is oxygen-rich and provides the brain with the nutrients it needs to survive. Without these nutrients, brain cells cannot live. The second way in which the blood supply can be cut off is through the rupture of a blood vessel. If a blood vessel breaks, then the blood will flow out into the body instead of up into the brain. Like a blood clot, the rupture of a blood vessel limits the flow of blood into this vital organ, causing its cells to die.

As brain cells begin to die, seniors will experience a loss of certain capabilities. For instance, their speech or movement may become impaired. If blood flow is not restored to the brain quickly enough, the damage done to the cells may prove irreparable. This means that seniors can face permanent damage to their ability to speak and move. Additionally, if a certain part of the brain is affected, elderly individuals may lose their memory.
The extent of the damage caused by a stroke is dependent upon several factors. First and foremost, the location of the event will determine which parts of the brain are impacted. Furthermore, the amount of time that it takes for individuals to receive medical assistance plays an integral role in the ability of healthcare professionals to restore function to affected parts of the brain. By understanding what is taking place, you can better get your senior the medical assistance they need.

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