Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) considered
tPA is a clot-dissolving drug approved by the FDA to treat ischemic stroke (blood clots in the brain) in the first three hours after the start of symptoms. The sooner tPA or other appropriate treatment is begun, the better the chances for recovery.
Measures to Prevent Complications
- DVT prophylaxis (prevention of leg vein blood clots) - deep vein thrombosis (DVT) involves the formation of a clot in the veins in the lower leg and the thigh. This clot may interfere with circulation and may break off and travel through the blood vessels and cause another stroke. Patients experiencing stroke that involves a partially or totally paralyzed leg are at increased risk of developing DVT. DVT prevention is recommended for at-risk patients to reduce the risk of another stroke. Preventive measures include the use of blood thinning medications, compression stockings and pneumatic (air) compression of the legs.
- Screen for dysphagia - a stroke can affect many body functions, including the ability to swallow. Stroke patients are at particular risk of aspiration (choking) because of dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). All stroke patients should be checked for their ability to swallow.
- Rehabilitation plan considered - before discharge, stroke patients should be assessed and receive rehabilitation services to enhance their recovery and minimize functional disabilities.