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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A hemorrhagic stroke happens when a blood vessel in your brain bursts. This may happen if the blood vessel wall is weak, or if a blood clot gets stuck in blood vessel. Blood then flows out of the vessel and damages brain tissue.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Medicines help improve your blood's ability to clot and stop the bleeding. You may need medicine to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes. You may also need medicine to decrease pain, reduce brain pressure, or prevent seizures.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You have a seizure.
- You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
- You cough up blood.
- You have weakness or numbness in your arm, leg, or face.
- You are confused and have problems speaking or understanding speech.
- You have a severe headache, or loss of balance or coordination.
Seek care immediately if:
- You have double vision or vision loss.
- You are bleeding from your rectum or nose.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
Contact your healthcare provider or neurologist if:
- Your blood pressure is higher or lower than you were told it should be.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Know the FAST test to recognize the signs of a stroke:
- F = Face: Ask the person to smile. Drooping on 1 side of the mouth or face is a sign of a stroke.
- A = Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. One arm that slowly comes back down or cannot be raised is a sign of a stroke.
- S = Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence that you say first. Speech that is slurred or sounds strange is a sign of a stroke.
- T = Time: Call 911 if you see any of these signs. This is an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider or neurologist as directed:
You may need regular tests of your brain function. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Go to physical or occupational therapy:
A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain. An occupational therapist teaches you skills to help with your daily activities.
Prevent another stroke:
- Manage health conditions. Take your medicine as directed. Check your blood pressure and blood sugar levels as directed. Keep a record and bring it to your follow-up visits.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods include whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Choose foods that are low in fat, cholesterol, salt, and sugar. Eat foods that are high in potassium, such as potatoes and bananas.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Ask your healthcare provider how much you should weigh. Ask him to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight. Ask about the best exercise plan for you.
- Limit or do not drink alcohol. Limit alcohol to 2 drinks per day if you are a man. Limit alcohol to 1 drink per day if you are a woman. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.
- Do not smoke cigarettes or use street drugs. Smoking and drugs increase your risk for a stroke. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you need help quitting.
- Get a flu vaccine. To prevent influenza (flu), all adults should get the influenza vaccine. Get the vaccine every year as soon as it becomes available.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.