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WHAT YOU NEED TO 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. Blood may collect within your brain or between layers of tissue that protect the brain.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You have any of the following signs of a stroke:
- Numbness or drooping on one side of your face
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Confusion or difficulty speaking
- Dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss
- You have a seizure.
Seek care immediately if:
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You have trouble swallowing.
- Your blood pressure or blood sugar level is higher or lower than you were told it should be.
- You fall and have unusual and heavy bleeding.
Contact your healthcare provider or neurologist if:
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Medicines may be given to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes. You may also need medicine to prevent seizures.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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.
Warning signs of a stroke:
The word F.A.S.T. can help you remember and recognize warning signs of a stroke.
- F = Face: One side of the face droops.
- A = Arms: One arm starts to drop when both arms are raised.
- S = Speech: Speech is slurred or sounds different than usual.
- T = Time: A person who is having a stroke needs to be seen immediately. A stroke is a medical emergency that needs immediate treatment. Some medicines and treatments work best if given within a few hours of a stroke.
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 rehabilitation (rehab) as directed:
Rehab is an important part of treatment. Physical therapists can help you gain strength and build endurance. Occupational therapists teach you new ways to do daily activities, such as getting dressed. Therapy can help you improve your ability to walk or keep your balance. You may start slowly and start doing more difficult tasks over time. Your therapy may include tasks or movements you will need to do for everyday activities. An example is being able to raise or lower yourself from a chair. A speech therapist helps you relearn or improve your ability to talk and swallow.
Prevent another hemorrhagic 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. Control your blood sugar level if you have hyperglycemia or diabetes.
- Do not smoke cigarettes or use illegal drugs. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause blood vessel damage. Nicotine and illegal drugs both increase your risk for a stroke. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
- Do not drink alcohol. Heavy alcohol use increases your risk for any type of stroke.
- 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.
- Exercise as directed. Activity is important for preventing another stroke. You may need to work with an exercise therapist to learn how to exercise safely. Exercise may help you be able to do your normal activities more easily. Exercise also helps control your blood pressure and weight.
- Manage stress. Stress can increase your blood pressure. Find new ways to relax, such as deep breathing or listening to music.
What you need to know about depression:
Depression can happen after a stroke. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have depression that continues or is getting worse. Your provider may be able to help treat your depression. Your provider can also recommend support groups for you to join. A support group is a place to talk with others who have had a stroke. It may also help to talk to friends and family members about how you are feeling. Tell your family and friends that if they see these signs, to let your healthcare provider know. You may show any of the following signs of depression:
- Extreme sadness
- Avoiding social interaction with family or friends
- A lack of interest in things you once enjoyed
- Trouble sleeping
- Low energy levels
- A change in eating habits or sudden weight gain or loss
For support and more information:
- National Stroke Association
9707 E. Easter Lane
Centennial , CO 80112
Phone: 1- 800 - 787-6537
Web Address: http://www.stroke.org
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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.