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Left Hemispheric Stroke, Ambulatory Care
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A left hemispheric stroke
happens when blood cannot flow to your brain. The left side (hemisphere) of your brain controls the right side of your body.
Common symptoms include the following:
- Trouble swallowing, walking, or remembering
- Paralysis on 1 or both sides of your body
- Falling toward your right side
- Lack of awareness of the right side of your body
- Trouble speaking, reading, writing, or understanding language
- Changes in mood or the ability to pay attention or solve problems
Know the FAST test to recognize the signs of a stroke:
Know the F.A.S.T. 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.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- A seizure
- Lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Weakness or numbness in your arm, leg, or face
- Confusion and problems speaking or understanding speech
- A severe headache, or loss of balance or coordination
Treatment for a left hemispheric stroke
may include medicines to help improve your blood's ability to clot and stop the bleeding. You may instead need medicine to break up blood clots, or to prevent them from forming. The type of medicine you receive depends on what is causing your stroke. You may also need medicine for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Surgery may be needed to place a tube in your skull. The tube drains extra fluid and checks the pressure in your brain.
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.
Follow up with your healthcare provider or neurologist as directed:
You may need to come in for regular tests of your brain function. You may also need regular blood tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.
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