Nurse Teaching on Types of Stroke
Nurse educated the patient/caregiver upon the types of stroke as follows:
The brain is richly supplied with blood, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to all the brain cells that are highly dependent on them for optimal function. Stroke, also called cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is caused by interruption of blood supply to the brain tissue, which can result in compromised oxygen and nutrient delivery to the affected portions of the brain. Interruption of blood supply to the brain tissue could be secondary to various factors and depending on the factors contributing, two main types of stroke have been identified.
- Ischemic stroke: This is a more common variety of stroke in comparison to the other. Blood vessels supplying oxygenated blood to the brain tissue are blocked in some individuals secondary to various factors, such as a blood clot or cholesterol plaques. Blood clots could have formed in the brain circulation, or it could be a clot that formed in other body parts, such as, heart and travelled in the blood stream to be deposited in the brain tissue. Persistent exposure of blood vessels in the brain to higher pressures in individuals with poorly controlled hypertension can result in thickening & hardening of the blood vessel and narrowing of the blood vessel lumen. Poorly controlled hyperlipidemia in individuals with history and persistently elevated blood sugars in poorly managed diabetics can contribute to excess deposition of unhealthy cholesterol plaques on the inner walls of blood vessels in general, including the vessels supplying the brain tissue, resulting in narrowing of the blood vessel lumen. This narrowing of blood vessel lumen can lead to reduced blood flow to the brain tissue. Irrespective to the reason for compromised blood flow to the brain tissue, all individuals with this finding can be at higher risk for presentation with ischemic stroke.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: This less common variety of stroke in comparison to the former can be secondary to various factors as follows. Persistently elevated blood sugars in poorly managed diabetics and chronic exposure of blood vessels in the brain to higher pressures in individuals with poorly controlled hypertension can result in progressive damage to the blood vessel wall, result in rupture of the blood vessel, and lead to bleeding inside the brain tissue with development of stroke. As the brain is compactly packed inside the skull, the bleeding inside the brain, if not timely resolved, can increasingly exert pressure on the surrounding brain tissue and result in severe damage to the affected portions of the brain.