A stroke, or in medical terms, a Cerebral Vascular Accident, is an interruption of blood flow to the brain. This ‘accident’ occurs when blood flow to the brain is impeded by a rupture or blockage of an artery leading to the brain. The brain is a complex organ that controls body functions. Without oxygen-rich blood, brain cells die and their specific function is lost. The American Stroke Association reports that nearly 800,000 strokes occur in the United States each year.
There are two types of strokes: 13% of strokes are Hemorrhagic (weakened blood vessels rupture and leak blood into the brain); 87% percent are Ischemic (a clot or mass blocks a blood vessel, cutting off blood flow to a part of the brain). Approximately 1/3 of Ischemic strokes are Cryptogenic, meaning the cause of the blockage is unidentified. Finding the cause of a stroke is important because it helps to reduce the risk of another stroke.
Possible causes of an ischemic stroke can be:
- Atrial Fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat
- Atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries
- Thrombophilia, a blood clotting disorder
- A heart structure problem, such as a hole in the heart
The American Heart and the American Stroke Associations recommend stroke patients who are candidates for post-acute rehabilitation to receive organized, coordinated, interprofessional care. Carolee J. Winstein, Ph.D. stated in the American Heart Association Journal Stroke, “[t]here is increasing evidence that rehabilitation can have a big impact on survivors’ quality of life…” Stroke rehabilitation requires the sustained and coordinated effort of a team of professionals with patient care and patient goals at the center. Education identifying high-risk factors and the early warning signs and symptoms preventing a second stroke is emphasized during the rehabilitation stay.
Bartley Healthcare Nursing and Rehabilitation provides rehabilitation and skilled nursing services for patients recovering from a stroke. Bartley’s sustained and coordinated effort with a team-based approach provides nursing service for patients who are not well enough to be discharged home and can benefit from having 24-hour nursing care. Our team includes a Physician and Nurse Practitioner providing medical care during your recovery period; Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy utilize therapeutic techniques and adaptive strategies to help improve functional ability and regain independence; Speech Therapy provides a dysphagia evaluation for all patients on admission assessing the risk of choking and pneumonia. A Registered Dietician monitors all diets and nutritional status from admission to discharge and provides a healthy diet to follow post-discharge. A Registered Respiratory Therapist coordinates the pulmonary program for patients recovering from a stroke who have a new or chronic respiratory complication. A registered nurse case manager works with the patient and their family from admission through discharge home providing continuum of care; the Social Worker assists families and patients with the safe transfer from rehabilitation to home and provides psychosocial support during the transition period. Bartley’s 24-hour nursing staff play an important role in the patient recovering from a stroke providing personal caregiving the patient their best chance at an optimal recovery.
Patient-centered care is the cornerstone of an optimal recovery from a Cerebral Vascular Accident. 24-hour nursing care provides coordination with all therapies centered around the individual patient. Personalized care prevents complications, minimizes impairment and maximizes function; personalized education supports the need for follow-up care, medication education, and knowledge of the risk factors and warning signs of a second stroke. Stroke is a medical emergency, recovery requires a coordinated effort of patient, family, friends, and healthcare providers.