Description of Apoplexy
The physical effects involving some form of paralysis, that result from damage to the brain due to an interruption in its blood supply. The effect in the brain is secondary and the cause lies in the heart or blood vessels and may be a thrombosis, embolus or hemorrhage. The severity of a stroke varies greatly from a temporary weakness in a limb, or tingling, to paralysis, coma and death.
Symptoms and indications of Apoplexy
Symptoms vary according to the nature and severity of damage to the brain and may be gradual or sudden in their onset. They include loss of control over movement, numbness or tingling on one side of the body, loss of speech, mental confusion and disturbance of vision, headache, loss of consciousness, with noisy breathing. The unconscious person may appear flushed and have a slow pulse rate and the pupils of the eyes are unequally contracted. A person with symptoms of a stroke requires emergency medical treatment in hospital.
Treatment of Apoplexy
Is in the form of intensive nursing aimed at maintaining the person in as stable a state as possible. Some drugs might be given depending upon the nature of the stroke and the patient’s condition. These include drugs to lower blood pressure, anticoagulants or heparin and nimodipine. Physiotherapy and exercises of paralyzed limbs, etc are usually begun as soon as possible. A severe stroke often proves fatal. Patients who survive are likely to suffer physical and possibly mental disability and require a great deal of continuing help, support and encouragement.
Causes and risk factors of Apoplexy
The cause of stroke is usually atherosclerosis or hardening and narrowing of the arteries, which occur with increasing age. This can result in a blockage of a small artery by a blood clot interrupting the blood flow to the brain (thrombosis). Or, there may be an embolism in which a clot or plug is carried from the heart or an artery elsewhere, via the circulation to lodge in a vessel of the brain and cause blockage. Another cause of stroke is hemorrhage of a blood vessel within the brain, causing an escape of blood into the brain tissue.