A stroke unit is a dedicated area of the hospital that specializes in the care of stroke patients. The unit may include nurses, a doctor, physical therapists and occupational therapists, as well as dietitians, speech therapists and other healthcare professionals. It is important to note that stroke units are not the same as intensive care units for stroke patients. The primary goal of a stroke unit is to quickly and accurately diagnose, treat and support stroke patients. This is done through a variety of means such as providing specific activities, therapies and medications. A stroke unit may also provide support to family members of stroke patients, as well as patient education.
Common complications after stroke include:
Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
Hemiparesis (weakness of one side of the body)
Balance and coordination problems
Difficulty speaking (aphasia)
Mood disturbances (depression, anxiety)
There are three broad categories of stroke types: ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA).
Ischemic stroke Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel that supplies the brain becomes blocked, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to brain cells and causing damage. A clot is the most common cause of this blockage.
Hemorrhagic stroke A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery within the brain leaks or ruptures. This causes an excessive bleed within the brain, damaging cells and tissue.
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) TIA is also known as a "mini-stroke." It is caused when there is a temporary blockage of a blood vessel in the brain. The blockage does not last long and does not cause any permanent damage.
Body parts where stroke can occur Stroke can occur in any part of the body, including the brain, heart, lungs, arms, abdomen, legs, hands, and feet.