What is a Stroke/Brain Attack? - National Stroke Association


What is a Stroke/Brain Attack? - National Stroke Association

More than four million people in the United States have survived a stroke and are living

with the after-effects. Stroke also impacts the lives of millions of family members

and caregivers of survivors.

The word “stroke” indicates that no one is ever prepared for this sudden, often catastrophic

event. Stroke survivors and their families can find workable solutions to most

difficult situations by approaching problems with patience, ingenuity, perseverance and


Early Recovery

There’s still so much we don’t know about how the brain compensates for the damage

caused by stroke. However, in the past 10 years, stroke rehabilitation has come a long

way. We have learned that some brain cells may be only temporarily damaged, not

killed, and may resume functioning. In some cases, the brain can reorganize its own

functioning, when a region of the brain “takes over” for a region damaged by the

stroke. Stroke survivors sometimes experience remarkable and unanticipated recoveries

that cannot be explained. In general though, recovery guidelines show2: • 31 percent of stroke survivors need help caring for themselves

• 20 percent need help walking

• 16 percent are institutionalized

• 71 percent are vocationally impaired after 7 years


Rehabilitation actually starts in the hospital as soon as possible after the stroke. In the

case of stroke survivors who are stable, rehabilitation may begin within two days after

the stroke has occurred, and should be continued as necessary after release from the


Depending on the severity of the stroke, rehabilitation options include:

• The rehabilitation unit in the hospital

• A sub-acute care unit in a hospital or long-term care facility

• A rehabilitation hospital

• Home with outpatient therapy

Stroke day program

• A long-term care facility that provides therapy and skilled nursing care

• Home therapy

National Stroke Association’s Complete Guide to Stroke

Recovery and Rehabilitation


More magazines by this user
Similar magazines