Treatment of stroke
When you go to hospital, you may be treated on a general ward or in a specialist stroke unit.
If you can’t swallow, you will be given fluid through a drip in your arm to stop you becoming dehydrated. You will have a tube in your nose to give you the nutrients and medicines you need. You may also be given oxygen through a face mask to help you breathe.
You will be helped to sit up and move around as soon as you’re able. If you can’t move, you will regularly be helped to turn in your bed to reduce your risk of getting bed sores and DVT.
The length of time that you need to stay in hospital will vary and depends on how severely you have been affected by your stroke.
The medicine you receive will depend on the type of stroke you had. For example, if you had an ischaemic stroke or a TIA, you may be given a medicine called alteplase to break up blood clots and restore blood flow to your brain, or medicines such as aspirin or clopidogrel to prevent further blood clots. You won’t be given these medicines if you had a haemorrhagic stroke as they can make bleeding worse.
You’re likely to need to take medicines to control your blood pressure and possibly also to reduce the cholesterol in your blood.
Your doctor may recommend that you have surgery. This will depend on the type of stroke you had and isn't suitable for everyone. You may have an operation to:
- remove fatty deposits from the carotid artery that takes blood to your brain (carotid endarterectomy)
- drain blood from your brain
- relieve swelling in your brain