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Stroke Warning Signs Often Occur Hours Or Days Before Attack
News Wise ^ | March 7, 2005 | Medical News

Posted on 03/07/2005 7:37:13 PM PST by FairOpinion

Warning signs of an ischemic stroke may be evident as early as seven days before an attack and require urgent treatment to prevent serious damage to the brain, according to a study of stroke patients.

Warning signs of an ischemic stroke may be evident as early as seven days before an attack and require urgent treatment to prevent serious damage to the brain, according to a study of stroke patients published in the March 8, 2005 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Eighty percent of strokes are ischemic, caused by the narrowing of the large or small arteries of the brain, or by clots that block blood flow to the brain. They are often preceded by a transient ischemic attack (TIA), a “warning stroke” or “mini-stroke” that shows symptoms similar to a stroke, typically lasts less than five minutes, and does not injure the brain.

The study examined 2,416 people who had experienced an ischemic stroke. In 549 patients, TIAs were experienced prior to the ischemic stroke and in most cases occurred within the preceding seven days: 17 percent occurring on the day of the stroke, 9 percent on the previous day, and 43 percent at some point during the seven days prior to the stroke.

“We have known for some time that TIAs are often a precursor to a major stroke,” said study author Peter M. Rothwell, MD, PhD, FRCP, of the Department of Clinical Neurology at Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, England. “What we haven’t been able to determine is how urgently patients must be assessed following a TIA in order to receive the most effective preventive treatment. This study indicates that the timing of a TIA is critical, and the most effective treatments should be initiated within hours of a TIA in order to prevent a major attack.”

Rothwell also noted that clinical guidelines should be amended accordingly.

The study included two population-based studies (Oxford Vascular Study and Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project) as well as two randomized trials (UK-TIA Aspirin Trial and European Carotid Surgery Trial).

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 18,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as dementia, dystonia, epilepsy, migraine, and stroke.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: cardiovascular; dementia; dystonia; epilepsy; health; hypertension; medical; medicine; migraine; stroke; tia
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"This study indicates that the timing of a TIA is critical, and the most effective treatments should be initiated within hours of a TIA in order to prevent a major attack.”

===

Mini-strokes are NOT to be ignored, urgent attention is needed, which may prevent a major, incapacitating stroke. Heed the warning.

1 posted on 03/07/2005 7:37:14 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion

A friend at church just had her brother die of a massive stroke. He was only 47.


2 posted on 03/07/2005 7:40:02 PM PST by geopyg ("It's not that liberals don't know much, it's just that what they know just ain't so." (~ R. Reagan))
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To: geopyg

How sad.

Sometimes it's a total surprise, but for those "fortunate" enough, to have a warning, they need to take it seriously -- and not just those to whom it happens, but the doctors, who also usually just brush it off.


3 posted on 03/07/2005 7:42:20 PM PST by FairOpinion (It is better to light a candle, than curse the darkness.)
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To: FairOpinion

And exactly what are the signs of a mini stroke?


4 posted on 03/07/2005 7:42:52 PM PST by Arkie2
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To: FairOpinion

Well, what are the warning signs/symptoms?? The article inexplicably left that out.


5 posted on 03/07/2005 7:43:27 PM PST by ellery (Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: ellery

Mini-strokes can be warning signs for a major stroke. Apparently doctors didn't used to do anything, when someone had a mini-stroke, but since the study found, that they could be a precursor to a major stroke, they recommend, that within hours of a mini-stroke people receive treatment, e.g. blood thinners, to prevent a coming major stroke.


6 posted on 03/07/2005 7:49:16 PM PST by FairOpinion (It is better to light a candle, than curse the darkness.)
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To: FairOpinion
"Mini-strokes are NOT to be ignored, urgent attention is needed, which may prevent a major, incapacitating stroke. Heed the warning."

Okay. Tell us what to look for. No symptoms were described in the article.

7 posted on 03/07/2005 7:49:21 PM PST by redhead
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To: FairOpinion

My father had a massive stroke at the age of 37. Paralyzed on his right side and lost his speech. Died of another massive one at age 45. Left 3 kids and a loving wife and hundreds of friends and family members.

He was 6'4 185 the day he had his stroke. He went into the hosptial (this is 1977 mind you)for a physical due to chest pains and they sent him home with a bottle of maalox and told him heartburn.Meanwhile what he was having was a heart attack.

Needless to say the story does not improve from that moment onward.................

All I can say is Thank God technology is getting to the point today to where strokes as horrific as his can be prevented in a good amount of time.


8 posted on 03/07/2005 7:50:03 PM PST by My Favorite Headache ("I I think she did too much coke...ahh you think so Doctor?)
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To: ellery

I don't know what the literature says are the symptoms of TIA, but here's what I've seen: My boss apparently had an episode of TIA's, in which he suddenly found himself at work unable to speak. It freaked him out, but instead of signaling/writing to one of us in his office that he was having a problem, he just left work and DROVE HIMSELF to the hosiptal! They diagnosed that he had a TIA, and he was off of work for a week or so. He never really talked to us about it, but we did tell him he was an idiot for not letting someone know he was having a problem. Driving yourself to the hospital when you have had an incident like that is NOT SMART (well, it fits with his personality, though...)


9 posted on 03/07/2005 7:51:01 PM PST by Bush_Democrat
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To: Arkie2; ellery

Signs nad symptoms of a stroke:


http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/UVAHealth/adult_cardiac/stroksgn.cfm

The following are the most common symptoms of stroke. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. If any of these symptoms are present, call 911 (or your local ambulance service) immediately. Treatment is most effective when started immediately. Symptoms may include:

sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body


sudden confusion or difficulty speaking or understanding


sudden problems with vision such as dimness or loss of vision in one or both eyes


sudden dizziness or problems with balance or coordination


sudden problems with movement or walking


sudden, severe headaches with no other known cause
All of the above warning signs may not occur with each stroke. Do not ignore any of the warning signs, even if they go away - take action immediately. The symptoms of stroke may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

What are some other symptoms of stroke?
Other, less common, symptoms of stroke may include the following:

sudden nausea, vomiting, or fever not caused by a viral illness


brief loss or change of consciousness such as fainting, confusion, seizures, or coma


transient ischemic attack (TIA), or "mini-stroke"
A TIA can cause many of the same symptoms as a stroke, but TIA symptoms are transient and last for a few minutes to a few days. Call for medical help immediately if you suspect a person is having a TIA, as it may be a warning sign that a stroke is about to occur. Not all strokes, however, are preceded by TIAs.

===

(TIA-s are "mini-strokes")


10 posted on 03/07/2005 7:52:01 PM PST by FairOpinion (It is better to light a candle, than curse the darkness.)
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To: FairOpinion

More info on strokes and mini-strokes:

http://www.mydr.com.au/default.asp?article=2440


11 posted on 03/07/2005 7:53:24 PM PST by FairOpinion (It is better to light a candle, than curse the darkness.)
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To: Arkie2
Found this info on emedicine.

No historical feature distinguishes ischemic from hemorrhagic stroke, although nausea, vomiting, headache, and change in level of consciousness are more common in hemorrhagic strokes.

Common symptoms of stroke include abrupt onset of hemiparesis, monoparesis, or quadriparesis; monocular or binocular visual loss; visual field deficits; diplopia; dysarthria; ataxia; vertigo; aphasia; or sudden decrease in the level of consciousness.

Although such symptoms can occur alone, they are more likely to occur in combination.

25% of all strokes occur in people under the age of 65.

12 posted on 03/07/2005 7:54:25 PM PST by zlala (I used to have a handle on life but it broke.)
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To: Bush_Democrat

Transient Ischemic Attacks --TIAs

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is caused by a temporary reduction of oxygenated and glucose rich blood in the brain. Generally most episodes last only few seconds to a few minutes. Basically it has the same identical origins as ischemic stroke.

TIAs are most frequently caused by atherosclerotic cerebrovascular disease. This occurs when cholesterol plaque is deposited inside the major or minor arteries which feed the brain. This plaque forms after the inner lining of an artery has been injured. The plaque causes narrowing of the blood vessels and reduced blood flow, increased the pressure of the blood within the vessel and slows blood flow down. When circulation is slowed, blood platelets tend to clump at the area of injury or blockage. This, along with the deposition of cholesterol causing the atherosclerosis buildup creates a mass which protrudes into the artery hence further slowing down blood flow and eventually either the vessel closes to no longer allow blood flow at all or a blood clot or thrombosis is created. A plaque fragment can break off and be carried by through blood stream to lodge at a distant site in the brain. These are the two main causes of a TIA.

Signs and Symptoms

Sudden onset of weakness, tingling, or numbness typically involving one side of the body.
Vision loss
Speech difficulty, vertigo, double vision, imbalance, or incoordination of the limbs.

What Risk Factors Increase the Chance of a TIA Occurring?

The major risk factors contributing to TIAs are:

High blood pressure
Certain types of heart and valvular diseases
Smoking
Diabetes mellitus</li>
Advancing age

Making The Diagnosis

The most significant symptom of TIA is the speed at which it comes and goes: rapid onset, brief
duration, and then a return to normal is the usual sequence.

Recurrence of the same or similar symptoms is also significant.

Weakness in only one arm or leg.

Final diagnosis as with stroke is based on the pattern of symptoms the type of symptoms, past medical history, family history, present signs and symptoms and findings upon a complete physician examination

Physical examination should include evaluation of both eyes and blood pressure and listening for a noise (or a bruit) which can only be heart with a stethoscope when listening over the artery which feeds the area of impairment.

Diagnostic Testing can be helpful in finalizing the diagnosis and determining the extent of the process, especially ruling out the causes of hemorrhagic stroke. The testing done, may include CAT Scan or MRI of the Head or Cerebral Arteriography to provide images of the arteries for evaluation.

How Serious Is Transient Ischemic Attack?

The signs and symptoms of TIA are very similar to those of ischemic stroke, with one important difference, that is they disappear completely within 24 hours. An individual may have one or more TIAs in the same day or they can be separated by days, week's, months or even years. Generally they will lasts no more than a few minutes.

Any TIA should be considered to be a warning sign that a stroke may follow in the near future, even within a few minutes. Approximately one-third of all persons who have TIAs will later have a stroke. A third will have more TIAs and another third will have no further cerebrovascular symptoms.

While arterial atherosclerotic plaque deposits are very common, they are not necessarily the only cause for TIA. The separate arterial networks in the brain have a built-in safety factor through extensive, small interconnections between them. When blood flow is gradually impeded in one network, these interconnections tend to enlarge so another arterial network can take over the blood supply to that region, a phenomenon called collateral circulation. As a result, a completely blocked artery may be harmless if collateral circulation is sufficient.

An additional safety factor is that the arteries to the brain are usually large enough to provide an adequate blood supply even when they are narrowed up to 75 percent by a plaque deposit. A TIA, therefore, is a warning that your safety factors are being overwhelmed.


Treatment

The purpose of treatment of TIA is primarily to prevent the occurrence of a stroke. This is done by improving arterial blood flow to the brain and so that a subsequent stroke can be avoided.


Medication:

High blood pressure must be treated and brought into normal levels.

If high blood pressure does not exist then prevention is directed primarily at reducing the risk of
any blood clots forming.

Presently the most common medication used for this purpose is aspirin. (In addition to its pain-relieving ability, aspirin also inhibits the way platelets clump together; the presence of too many platelets at a narrowed site may further compromise the flow of blood to the brain.)

The physician may prescribe it first on a trial basis. Anticoagulants (such as heparin or sodium warfarin) may be recommended in some situations. Anticoagulants or blood thinners also reduce the tendency for blood clots to form.


Surgery:

Surgery is generally a last resort and the primary surgery performed when dealing with TIAs is carotid endarterectomy. Here the arterial plaque is removed to lower the risk of further TIAs.

The ideal candidate for this operation is an individual who has one or more TIAs without complications and diagnostic testing demonstrates that these TIAs were most likely caused by atherosclerotic plaque deposits in the arteries of the neck providing blood flow to the brain. It is best if the individual has no other symptoms suggestive of a stroke.


A less than ideal person, is anyone else, especially someone with high blood pressure of symptoms of an ongoing stroke.


13 posted on 03/07/2005 7:54:47 PM PST by Bush_Democrat
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To: FairOpinion

Your link is much better than what I posted. Thank you.


14 posted on 03/07/2005 7:55:08 PM PST by zlala (I used to have a handle on life but it broke.)
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To: Arkie2
"And exactly what are the signs of a mini stroke?"

With my husband he started talking funny. Not making sense. He was already on blood thinners so they didn't do anything. Then a year later after he got up in the morning I saw him dragging himself along the kitchen counter. I got him to the emergency room and they did a cat scan. He had a small bleed in his brain. Later some dumb nurse gave him aspirin even after I questioned her. I kept telling her he is already on the blood thinner (Coumedin) She insisted it was ordered. Yes, for the guy in the other bed. It caused the bleed in his brain to go to about 3 inches. His doctor was called in and they gave him plasma. He was paralyzed on his left side and after a month in the hospital rehab he finally came home. He was very blessed in that he recovered and is able to do almost all that he used to do. He has lost a lot of weight which has been a big help.

The nurse was brought before the state licensing board. I don't know what the outcome of that was though.

15 posted on 03/07/2005 7:58:34 PM PST by Spunky ("Everyone has a freedom of choice, but not of consequences.")
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To: FairOpinion

My father had a seeming TIA and I took him to emergency room. (bizarrely unresponsive and out of it for about 3 minutes in public). They gave him an MRI, found nothing wrong. Part of me felt silly, but part of me knows I wouldn't have forgiven myself if there was something to it (he had a stroke years before which he partially recovered from). I'm glad to read this article now.


16 posted on 03/07/2005 8:01:52 PM PST by Mount Athos
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To: Mount Athos

You did the right thing -- better safe, than sorry.

Many times doctors work on statistics, the say 95% of the time the symptoms "mean nothing", but if you happened to be in that other 5%, it's your tough luck.

When the potential consequences could be serious, it's the right thing to do to insist that they rule out the worst possibility, before assuming "it's nothing", rather than the other way around.


17 posted on 03/07/2005 8:05:49 PM PST by FairOpinion (It is better to light a candle, than curse the darkness.)
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To: FairOpinion
sudden problems with vision such as dimness or loss of vision in one or both eyes

Well, this is freaking me out. I always blackout like that with my vision suddenly going black while I'm conscious. The doctor says I'm healthy and doesn't know what it is. Could I be having TIAs? My grandmother had two strokes and died with the second.

Or, maybe I should just change my screenname to Hypochondriac. :-)

18 posted on 03/07/2005 8:07:43 PM PST by Tired of Taxes (and growing increasingly weary of this screenname, too.)
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To: FairOpinion
Warning signs of an ischemic stroke may be evident as early as seven days before an attack and require urgent treatment to prevent serious damage to the brain, according to a study of stroke patients published in the March 8, 2005 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

And yet, never in the whole article do they mention what those warning signs might be.

19 posted on 03/07/2005 8:07:46 PM PST by Mike Darancette (MESOCONS FOR RICE '08)
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To: FairOpinion

Please, everyone be aware that TIAs can last for as little as 2-3 minutes. My mother-in-law's description of hers: I was standing in front of a mirror in the morning; it was as though a shade was pulled down in front of my eyes, which lasted only a minute or two. The second one a few days later: the right side of my face went numb for a few minutes, like a shot of Novocaine at the dentist. Instead of going to the emergency room, she decided to take a nap. Since she felt fine, she passed it off as being overly tired. About a week later she suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed on one side for many months. She was 57.


20 posted on 03/07/2005 8:10:30 PM PST by unbalanced but fair
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To: FairOpinion

Thanks for the heads up. A TIA is explained at http://www.mydr.com.au/default.asp?article=2440


21 posted on 03/07/2005 8:11:02 PM PST by balls
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To: Tired of Taxes

Do you have low blood pressure?


22 posted on 03/07/2005 8:12:04 PM PST by Nataku X (Food for Thought: http://web2.airmail.net/scsr/)
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To: Tired of Taxes

If I were you, I would see a neurologist and ask for an MRI -- that way you'll know for sure, and if it doesn't show anything, great, and if it does, you can treat and prevent something worse. But if an MRI doesn't show anything, you still need to get to the bottom of this -- a neurologist may have some ideas of what it could be, even if the MRI is OK, but I would definitely have an MRI. Run, don't walk to get one.

I think you need to go to as many doctors as it takes to find out what it is.

A neurologist is a good start -- insist on getting a referral from your GP, if your insurance doesn't allow you to go straight to a neurologist.

Good luck and don't take no for an answer from your GP.


23 posted on 03/07/2005 8:13:25 PM PST by FairOpinion (It is better to light a candle, than curse the darkness.)
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To: Tired of Taxes

Is your doctor aware that your granmother had strokes? Some aneurysms can be genetic, so it would be worthwhile to discuss this more thoroughly with your doctor. What tests have you had?


24 posted on 03/07/2005 8:15:11 PM PST by unbalanced but fair
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To: FairOpinion

But .. dementia is a series of miniscule strokes - which show no outward physical signs.

I can tell when my mom is having an episode - but it's only because of her actions - which don't ever seem to exhibit typical stroke symptoms. She's agitated and walks back and forth to my room at 10-15 min intervals. Can't tell me what she wants - or says she wants nothing. Then she turns around and walks back to the living room where she sits in her chair and continues watching her TV.

I have at times noticed a sluring of her speech - but not during her walking back and forth.


25 posted on 03/07/2005 8:15:48 PM PST by CyberAnt (Pres. Bush: "Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self.")
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To: FairOpinion
Many Stroke Victims Don't Get Crucial Care
By MARILYNN MARCHIONE, AP Medical Writer
Monday, February 7, 2005

Ten years ago, a crucial study proved that a drug could limit the damage from one of nature's biggest train wrecks: a blood clot stuck inside the head. TPA remains the sole drug approved for strokes. Yet only about 3 percent of victims get it. Usually that's because they don't seek help until it's too late for the drug to do any good — three hours after symptoms start.

However, fresh research documents disturbing problems that keep this lifesaving treatment from reaching the roughly one in five stroke victims who do seek help in time. Studies presented at an American Stroke Association conference last week found that:

_ Operators answering phones at hospitals often don't recognize stroke symptoms and discourage callers from coming in for help.

_ Ambulances routinely take people to the nearest hospital instead of one with the necessary equipment and expertise to give TPA.

_ Emergency room doctors are afraid of the drug's potentially serious side effects, and are unwilling to use it even when test results clearly show they should.

_ Even specialized stroke centers designed to speed the drug to patients are missing many chances to get it right.

"It's like we've built a cascade of system failures here. Every place along the stream is another place something can go wrong," said Dr. Larry Goldstein, director of Duke University Medical Center's stroke program and member of a task force aimed at improving the situation.

The courts may provide added incentive to do so: Hospitals increasingly fear lawsuits if they fail to give the drug in time.

TPA was so powerful at dissolving blockages threatening to destroy regions of the brain that the first patient to get it, a 67-year-old man, regained the ability to walk and talk half an hour after it started flowing through his veins.

"The nurses at the bedside started crying. It was very dramatic," recalled Dr. William Barsan, who treated him.

The consequences of missed opportunities are huge. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. It's a chief reason for disability and forces many people to spend their final days in nursing homes, unable to walk, talk or see as they once could.

About 700,000 strokes occur each year, and nine out of 10 are due to a clot. Little could be done for them until doctors tried TPA, a medication used to dissolve clots causing heart attacks, for stroke.

The 1995 study, funded by the federal government, proved that it worked. Stroke victims treated with TPA were twice as likely to have a good outcome as those who were not. The Food and Drug Administration approved it for stroke the next year, and a move grew to treat strokes as "brain attacks," emergencies requiring swift treatment to prevent permanent damage.

Dr. Lee Schwamm, associate director of Massachusetts General Hospital's stroke program, called it a landmark event. "It signaled the end of therapeutic nihilism, the idea that if you were having a stroke it was just too bad, that you ought to go in a dark room and come out when it's over."

However, there is a dark side to this miracle-working medication. About 6 percent of stroke patients who get it develop bleeding in the brain, which is fatal half the time. This can be avoided by not giving it to those with bleeding ulcers, very high blood pressure or certain other conditions.

But many emergency room doctors have been afraid to give TPA without neurologists to back up their judgment, and most hospitals don't have neurologists in the ER.

Studies show the consequences.

Dr. Toby Gropen, neurology chief at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, examined what happened at 14 New York hospitals participating in a state program to boost stroke care. They more than doubled TPA use, but from a mere 2.4 percent to 5.2 percent.

"We're moving in the right direction. It's a start," he said.

Schwamm studied more than 21,000 patients treated at 99 hospitals participating in the stroke association's "Get With the Guidelines" campaign. When it started, only one-third of the most ideal candidates for TPA were getting it. That improved to 61 percent a year later, but that meant four out of 10 still missed out.

Barsan, chief of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan, and the American College of Emergency Physicians surveyed 1,105 ER doctors on their willingness to use TPA.

"Even under ideal conditions where we told physicians, 'you've got a valid CAT scan which shows there's no bleeding, there aren't any snakes under the rocks,' 40 percent said they were unlikely or unwilling to treat those patients," he said.

There are problems before patients arrive, too. Dr. Brent Jarrell of Cabell Huntington Hospital in West Virginia studied how hospital operators and helplines in several states responded to hypothetical calls describing classic stroke symptoms.

"Roughly 25 percent of the people were referred back to their primary care doctor," he said. "The kind of the feeling, when you talk to them, is that they were trying to keep people away from the hospital."

One in five operators couldn't identify a single stroke warning sign.

Many efforts are under way to improve things. Last year, the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations started accrediting stroke centers meeting strict standards, such as seeing every patient within five minutes of arrival. So far, 88 hospitals in 28 states have earned the title and hundreds more are seeking it.

Some states — Florida, New York, Maryland and Massachusetts — have their own stroke center criteria, and some regions require EMS programs to take patients to the nearest stroke center instead of the closest hospital.

Stroke centers are also required to do community education to boost awareness of symptoms.

Unlike heart attacks, "stroke is almost never painful," so people often don't seek help, said Dr. Joseph Broderick, a University of Cincinnati neurologist. Signs like dizziness or numbness in an arm may be chalked up to things like sleeping in a funny position.

The stroke association task force issued a detailed plan last week for how hospitals and communities can improve stroke care.

An independent panel also recently re-analyzed information from the landmark 1995 study to more firmly establish the risk of side effects that so troubled emergency room doctors. Its conclusion: the drug's risks were smaller and its benefits even greater than the study originally found.

Stroke experts believe TPA use will rise as doctors become confident in their ability to pick the right patients to get it. But the only way to develop such judgment, they say, is to start using the drug.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/02/07/national/a084209S09.DTL

26 posted on 03/07/2005 8:22:46 PM PST by PLK
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To: Nataku X

Funny you should ask that... lol. Because, for years, this has plagued me. Then my husband bought a blood pressure machine to test his own hypertension, and when I took mine, it was on the low side. So I figured that maybe (hopefully) that's the problem. (That would be good news).


27 posted on 03/07/2005 8:23:58 PM PST by Tired of Taxes (and growing increasingly weary of this screenname, too.)
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To: PLK

Thanks for the article.

The major problem is indeed that doctors are reluctant to take immediate action.


28 posted on 03/07/2005 8:25:06 PM PST by FairOpinion (It is better to light a candle, than curse the darkness.)
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To: Arkie2

This is a poorly written article not to list the symptoms.


29 posted on 03/07/2005 8:28:45 PM PST by PhiKapMom (AOII Mom -- Increase Republicans in Congress in 2006!)
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To: unbalanced but fair; FairOpinion

Thanks. The tests the doctor took were for my heart, thyroid, etc., etc. Everything looked fine. I never thought of a neurologist, but I think now that I probably just need sleep... lol... insomniac here.

Another thing I was reading is that it could be migraines that just don't generate pain.

I'm guessing it would be much harder for any of us to recognize a true TIA because those symptoms listed could indicate anything.


30 posted on 03/07/2005 8:34:31 PM PST by Tired of Taxes (and growing increasingly weary of this screenname, too.)
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To: Tired of Taxes

It can't hurt to get some tests done. The fact that your grandmother had two strokes is enough reason to find out for sure. Did you read my post #20 with the description my mother-in-law gave? Any way, do it for your own peace of mind.


31 posted on 03/07/2005 8:44:07 PM PST by unbalanced but fair
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To: FairOpinion

You also forgot a subtle symptom, which is:

When r ading, one g ts the fe ling th t th y can't
qu te see all of the ch r ct rs in a se tenc .


32 posted on 03/07/2005 8:51:10 PM PST by Mad Mammoth
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To: unbalanced but fair

That is scary, the description your MIL gave. I admit, I'm a big chicken when it comes to doctors. I try to avoid them... lol. Maybe I should go again.

Thanks for the advice.


33 posted on 03/07/2005 8:55:02 PM PST by Tired of Taxes (and growing increasingly weary of this screenname, too.)
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To: Tired of Taxes
Well, this is freaking me out. I always blackout like that with my vision suddenly going black while I'm conscious. The doctor says I'm healthy and doesn't know what it is. Could I be having TIAs? My grandmother had two strokes and died with the second.

I have had recurring blurred vision in one or both eyes for 20 years now (started shortly after I had a hystectomy at 33). I had a CAT Scan or MRI right after the first episode; but, they couldn't find anything. One doctor told me my eyes were retaining fluid. Most doctors I have mentioned it to have no idea what causes it. It worries me a little; but, not a life changing problem.

34 posted on 03/07/2005 9:01:47 PM PST by jamaly
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To: Tired of Taxes

You're very welcome. I'm sure things will be fine. By the way, I'm going to give your home school info to my son and daughter-in-law. My grandson is in a Christian pre-school but it looks like they may have to close the grade school. So, thanks. Have a good night and God Bless. I have to get up early for work.


35 posted on 03/07/2005 9:06:43 PM PST by unbalanced but fair
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To: Tired of Taxes

As I said, I like to eliminate the worst, then you can relax and work your way through the less serious possibilities.

Since you had these for years, it's most likely not TIA, but neurologists deal with migraines as well and they are more likely to be able to assess it and eliminate or confirm possibilities of what causes them.

I think it would be a good idea for you to go to a neurologist and just make sure.

The low blood pressure is certainly a possibility, but I wouldn't just assume that's what it is, without ruling out other more serious possibilities, just to err on the side of caution.


36 posted on 03/07/2005 9:08:13 PM PST by FairOpinion (It is better to light a candle, than curse the darkness.)
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To: FairOpinion

bump


37 posted on 03/07/2005 9:08:56 PM PST by VNam68
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To: jamaly

I think I read that diabetes could also cause blurred vision.

I think when there is something wrong, there is a cause, and it's a good idea to track it down, sometimes you have to push the doctors and see some specialists. Did you see an ophtalmologist?


38 posted on 03/07/2005 9:10:18 PM PST by FairOpinion (It is better to light a candle, than curse the darkness.)
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To: Tired of Taxes

If it's not TIAs, then it sounds like iron deficiency. I used to experience the same thing as a child & teenager. In fact, I still take iron.


39 posted on 03/07/2005 9:11:53 PM PST by my_pointy_head_is_sharp
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To: my_pointy_head_is_sharp

I thought it might be iron deficiency, too, because my mother has that and used to get B12 shots as a kid. I was iron deficient when I was pregnant. But the tests the doctor took said the iron levels were fine now.

Btw, I love your screenname. :-)


40 posted on 03/07/2005 9:19:36 PM PST by Tired of Taxes (and growing increasingly weary of this screenname, too.)
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To: Tired of Taxes

"I never thought of a neurologist, but I think now that I probably just need sleep... lol... insomniac here."

I'd like to second - or third - the opinion that you go to a neurologist. Losing your vision is not normal and while it could be ocular migraine or low blood pressure, you're not qualified to decide that. Your gp, having not found the source of the problem, should've referred you to a neurologist. In the meantime, get your eyes checked if you haven't already done so.

"Another thing I was reading is that it could be migraines that just don't generate pain."

Do you see anything in the time preceding the loss of vision, like little flashes of light? That's usually a clue.


41 posted on 03/07/2005 9:19:36 PM PST by MonaMars
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To: FairOpinion

My mother and I were in our basement when she was moving clothes from the washer to the dryer. She suddenly dropped the basket, and told me her arm went completely weak and then numb. She had a similar complaint to me about two days later. One week after the first event she had a stroke during a wedding ceremony for my sister's friend, and two weeks after that the Lord took her.

Suffice it to say that the warning signs listed first - sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body - are permanently etched into my brain.


42 posted on 03/07/2005 9:28:01 PM PST by Kryptonite
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To: jamaly
One doctor told me my eyes were retaining fluid. Most doctors I have mentioned it to have no idea what causes it. It worries me a little; but, not a life changing problem.

Yeah, my GP sent me to an eye doctor, too, because, in addition to the "mini-blackouts", I've been having double vision. The eye doctor said I probably had it all my life and didn't notice (yeah, right!) and prescribed glasses that don't help at all... lol. It seems that doctors don't have enough time to spend with patients and are making quick diagnoses... Btw, I'm not too worried, either. I've had the "blackouts" since high school, and I'm still alive. :-)

43 posted on 03/07/2005 9:35:22 PM PST by Tired of Taxes
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To: PLK
Thank you for the article. This happened to my father, and it is interesting to know that his case was not so rare.

I brought him to the ER of a rural hospital within the three hour window, but the doc would not give TPA without a CT scan proving the stroke was ischemic and not hemorragic, though he was known to have heavily blocked arteries and the odds were stacked pretty heavily on one side. The closest CT machine was ninety minutes away, and he was outside the time window by the time the test was done, and didn't survive.

44 posted on 03/07/2005 9:43:52 PM PST by SupplySider
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To: FairOpinion; MonaMars
Thanks again for the advice. You're right. I should see a specialist, just to be sure. It can't hurt.

Do you see anything in the time preceding the loss of vision, like little flashes of light? That's usually a clue.

No, my vision just dims, and then goes black for a few seconds, and then gradually clears. I become dizzy, but I've never passed out once, though. After reading the descriptions here of TIAs and others' personal experiences with them, it doesn't sound like TIAs.

But I'll certainly take both of your advice and try to find out what it is for sure.

45 posted on 03/07/2005 9:45:55 PM PST by Tired of Taxes
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To: Tired of Taxes

"in addition to the "mini-blackouts", I've been having double vision."

All that could have a neurological cause.

Don't forget this by tomorrow. Follow up, see a neurologist.


46 posted on 03/07/2005 10:06:38 PM PST by FairOpinion (It is better to light a candle, than curse the darkness.)
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To: Arkie2; ellery; All
Source: StrokeCenter.org

Warning Signs of Stroke

The most common sign of stroke is sudden weakness of the face, arm or leg, most often on one side of the body.

Other warning signs can include:
* Sudden numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
* Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
* Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
* Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
* Sudden severe headache with no known cause

The signs of a stroke depend on the side of the brain that's affected, the part of the brain, and how severely the brain is injured. Therefore, each person may have different stroke warning signs. Stroke may be associated with a headache, or may be completely painless.

If you or someone you know is having these signs, call 911 and seek medical help immediately. Stroke is a medical emergency. Treatment is available, but only if a stroke is recognized in time. DO NOT try to diagnose the problem by yourself, and DO NOT wait to see if the symptoms go away on their own.

Even if the symptoms pass quickly, they could be an important warning that requires prompt medical attention.

47 posted on 03/08/2005 1:35:12 AM PST by newzjunkey (Demand Mexico Turnover Fugitive Murderers: http://www.escapingjustice.com)
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To: Tired of Taxes

That's probably it... I have naturally low blood pressure, too, and I sometimes black out like that. No worries... for now! ;-)


48 posted on 03/08/2005 4:03:12 AM PST by Nataku X (Food for Thought: http://web2.airmail.net/scsr/)
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To: FairOpinion
I think I read that diabetes could also cause blurred vision.

I think when there is something wrong, there is a cause, and it's a good idea to track it down, sometimes you have to push the doctors and see some specialists. Did you see an ophtalmologist?

Diabetes can definitely cause blindness. I have had my blood sugar checked several times and it is always excellent.

I have been to a couple of opthalmologists. One opthalmologist said that my eyes were retaining fluid, the another one said that was crazy. Now my opthamologist wants me to come in while my vision is actually blurry. I know I need to do that; but, it usually isn't convenient. After twenty years I don't get too concerned any more.

49 posted on 03/08/2005 5:29:51 AM PST by jamaly
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To: FairOpinion
Several years ago I was experiencing TIA's but had no idea what was happening. This went on for a couple of weeks before I was standing at a checkout line at a local grocery store and noticed the cover of a Readers Digest which mentioned the warning signs of a stroke.

I bought the magazine and read it when I got home. After seeing that the dizzy spells that I had experienced were, in-fact, TIA's I called my doctor & made an appointment. The Dr. scheduled an ultrasound on my carotid arteries and immediately scheduled me for surgery.

During the surgery, he found a huge blood clot in the artery just waiting to go to my brain. If this had happened and I had survived I would have become a Democrat forever.

Now I'm constantly preaching to my family about the warning signs preceding a stroke.

This is an absolutely true story (with just a little humor).

50 posted on 03/08/2005 10:19:14 AM PST by rapture-me
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