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P854 Acute Coronary Syndrome

Chapter 2: Stroke and heart attack What is a stroke? Stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. Ischemic strokes are caused by blood clots or cholesterol plaques that block the flow of blood through arteries. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when arteries burst inside of, or on, the brain surface. When blood flow is interrupted, your brain doesn’t get the oxygen and nutrients it needs, and cells begin to die. Relatively few brain cells will be affected if the interruption is brief, and you may recover fully. Otherwise, the damage may vary in the degree of severity and can be permanent. The part of your brain that’s damaged depends on the location of the stroke. Areas commonly affected include those that involve sensory perceptions, movement, memory, thought patterns or behavior, and the ability to talk or understand speech. Treatment for stroke patients includes medication, surgery, hospital care and rehabilitation. If you’re having a stroke and get to the hospital early enough, clot-dissolving medication—called a thrombolytic, such as tPA—can be given. 8


P854 Acute Coronary Syndrome
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