- Detailed medical history- to assess what may have happened and if previous medical illness may affect treatment of stroke.
- Medical neurological examination- to look for signs of damage to the brain and body function.
- Blood pressure (BP)- to look for signs of high blood pressure( hypertension) or low blood pressure (hypotension). Prolonged high blood pressure is a risk factor in stroke and symptoms are not always obvious to the patient. Ideal BP is around 120/80. Low BP is 90/60 or less. High BP 140/90 or above.
- Cholesterol and Blood tests- to look for any underlying illness such as possible infection which can be treated. Blood tests can show how blood clotting factors are working and to check the blood chemistry for sodium, potassium, blood glucose and cholesterol.
- ECG (Electrocardiograph)- to check how well the heart is working. If the heart beat is irregular this can affect the blood supply to the brain.
- Neck Doppler examination (Carotid arteries)- to check if the arteries which supply blood to the brain are narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits on the wall of the arteries( Atheroma)
- CT scan/MRI scan- this is a crucial test to comfirm what type of stroke has occurred ( Haemorrhage or blockage) and where in the brain it is. Once this is known the appropriate treatment can begin. Not all small strokes show up on a CT scan in the first few hours.
- Lifestyle advice- there are some risk factors caused by lifestyle. The doctor will discuss these for each individual so you can make choices to change these lifestyle risks.
- Medication- to check what medicine if any the person has been taking and to prescribe new tablets such as aspirin or statins if they are appropriate for the person after stroke.
- Follow up and secondary prevention measures- to access further medical advice and to monitor any treatment the person has been given. Your GP will also be informed of the stroke and any treatment or test results.
1. Stroke cause and effects
Stroke cause and effects
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