Understanding stroke
£9.95 GBP, 2 hours

The incidence of stroke is increasing world-wide but so are survival rates, at least in developed nations, leading to an increasing burden of disability. Strokes can be ischaemic (loss of blood flow to part of the brain) or haemorrhagic (acute intracranial haemorrhage). Current best practice for stroke involves timely access to thrombolytic therapy (in ischaemic stroke) and care in dedicated stroke units that bring together an expert team of health practitioners. Restoration of blood supply to the affected brain tissue and then rehabilitation to regain function are the goals of best practice. Ongoing research into protection of at risk tissue in areas surrounding the stroke, and the regeneration of neurological tissue highlights the complexity of the effects of stroke on the brain.

Behaviours increasing stroke risk are the same as for cardiovascular disease. Reduction in the incidence of stroke depends on successful campaigns targeting obesity, low physical activity, smoking and harmful alcohol use. An understanding of the pathophysiology underlying stroke can help nurses deliver prevention and treatment programmes that support best outcomes for stroke survivors and their families.

After completing this online learning activity and quiz, you should be able to:

  • Describe factors that increase risk of stroke.
  • Outline the pathophysiology of ischaemic stroke and its consequences.
  • Explain the outcomes of stroke.
  • Describe best practice associated with acute management of stroke.

The PDF accompanying this activity was first published in the March 2018 issue of Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand.


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