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Medical How to prevent another stroke?

  1. Nov 11, 2009 #1


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    Is it true that if one have had a 'mild' stroke, he should be expecting another stroke?, does traveling by air increase the risk for having another one? And how to prevent one anyways? Thanks in advance.
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  3. Nov 11, 2009 #2
  4. Nov 11, 2009 #3


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    Keep in mind that there are two completely different types of stroke. One is an ischemic stroke, which is due to a blockage in an artery in the brain (such as due to a blood clot or atherosclerosis) that deprives blood to an area of the brain. The other type is a hemorrhagic stroke, in which case a blood vessel ruptures and causes bleeding into the brain that then damages the tissue where the blood spills in.

    In terms of hemorrhagic stroke, primarily keeping one's blood pressure under control to decrease chances of developing an aneurysm (a ballooning out of a blood vessel wall) or rupturing of the vessel is the approach to take. But, sometimes there is nothing that really can be done to prevent these.

    For ischemic stroke, things that lower the risk of atherosclerosis and blood clots are important...watching blood lipid levels (cholesterol and triglycerides, for example), or avoiding smoking. If someone has had this type of stroke, they may be prescribed "blood thinners" that block some of the clotting factors in blood to help break up existing blood clots or prevent new ones. This type of stroke can also have a genetic component...some people have mutations in genes for blood clotting factors that make them more susceptible to the types of clots that cause strokes.

    In terms of flying, it is best to ask a physician who knows the details of that patient's case. My general thoughts are that the altitude and cabin pressure changes might cause some problems for someone who has had hemorrhagic strokes. In terms of ischemic strokes, the big risk isn't so much flying as sitting still too long and risking developing deep vein thrombosis (usually in the legs) and then having those clots break off and lodge in either the lungs or brain. Getting up and walking around as frequently as possible during a flight, or making frequent stops to walk around during long car rides would be advisable. (Actually, those are good ideas for anyone on long flights or long car trips, not just those with a history of stroke.)
  5. Nov 11, 2009 #4


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    Thanks Moonbear.

    My father suffered a massive stroke that left him paralyzed on one side, from one side of his face down to his foot. I'm not sure what type of stroke it was, he had been diagnosed with high blood pressure at the age of 14. He was 52 when he had this stroke, it also paralyzed his vocal cords. One year later, he had just recently been allowed to go back home from the rehabilitation center he'd been in. He suffered another stroke which kiled him.
  6. Nov 12, 2009 #5


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    Thanks a lot for the replies. Well, the guy had a mild aphasia disorder as a result of ischemic stroke [a case of Amnesic-Semantic Aphasia I think. he had the stroke while he’s on his 8 hrs flight to London “while sleeping” he said, he’s at the hospital right now and he’s getting better with time]. what really concerns me is his flight back home what precautions should he take other than not staying in his seat all flight long?

    We’ve already contacted his doctors, and they’ve said he won’t be allowed to travel now, and said there is a partial blockage in the arteries in his neck, and he needs to be on probation at least for a few days.

    Ps. he has diabetes, is it ok for him to have a pill a day of baby aspirin?… he also smokes [God how I hate him for that, he’s a smoker since his 19s, he’s in his late 50s now, and I don’t think he’ll quit :sad:]
  7. Nov 12, 2009 #6
    Really, you should only seek professional medical advice about medications. No one here can advise you about that.
    I hope he makes it home safely.
  8. Nov 12, 2009 #7


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    Sure, even the advices I get here will be discussed with his doctors. Thanks for the wishes hypatia.
  9. Dec 22, 2009 #8
    You may expect subsequent strokes so precautions are always necessary and they primarily depend upon whether a stroke is due to embolism/atherosclerosis or haemorrhage. You need to consult a neurologist or a neurosurgeon for a complete guide and workup but definitely the practice that you would normally do to avoid a heart attack would work with the stroke related to atherosclerosis.
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