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Anon. asked...

My 71 year old mum had a stroke on 8th January 2016 and she is currently in acute care, she cannot speak and has had a ng tube fitted, she has been paralysed on the right hand side of her body, although I have seen her move her right foot and she squeezed my hand today with her right hand? Do you know the average recovery period for this affliction?

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The Answer

A stroke is a life threatening condition which occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off. The blood supply is usually cut off due to the presence of a blood clot (85% of cases) or by a weakened blood vessel bursting. Depending on where the disruption to blood flow occurs will affect where disability occurs. If the disruption is to the left side of the brain then speech, understanding and the right side of the body will be weakened or paralysed.

Depending on the cause of the stroke and how quickly the stroke was diagnosed will often affect the long term prognosis and treatment given.

Generally treatment to disperse the clot, thin the blood and correct blood pressure issues will be needed.

All people should be assessed for issues with swallowing , speech and mobility.

Acute care is often given for the first few weeks following a stroke and then after this time the treatment then tends to focus on rehabilitation and maintaining the well being of the individual.

Speech and swallowing will be assessed and as in the case of your mother if there is difficulty swallowing an NGTube is inserted so that choking does not occur and food and drink are given through the tube until a swallowing reflex is regained. A speech therapist will become involved to try to work on speech, understanding as well as to help regain the swallowing reflex.

Occupational and Physiotherapists will become involved to help regain some use of limbs and aid mobility. Exercises will also be given to help prevent muscle wastage and help regain and relearn motor skills.

Recovery varies from individual to individual and some people may regain mobility but there is usually some element of disability remaining for the long term.

The hospital should work closely with your mother and your family and inform you if there will be any alteration to disability and how to prepare for long term management of health and living.

Family and support groups are important to your mother as well as family and these can help regarding future health, finances, accommodation and treatment and on going support.

Some useful websites and support groups are listed below:

 

 

We hope the above information is useful. We are sorry that we are unable to shed on whether there will be full recovery but the doctors involved in the care of your mother should be able to give you some realistic guidelines and expectations to work with.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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