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Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Advice for stroke patient


 Putali - Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:09 pm

Hi I am a pre-nursing student starting my Bachelor of Nursing in Feb 08 here in New Zealand.
The reason I am messaging you is for some advice, and if you cant help me then I hope you will know someone that can.
My father-in-law (70 years old) had a stroke just 4 days ago. He has right side paralysis, is trying to talk but isnt very responsive. He is in Mumbai India and I can not be with him but my partner is with him. I need to know what questions to ask the doctor and what my partner can be doing to help, eg talking to him, touching him etc. We are afraid he isnt getting the correct care but don't know what to look for or what to ask. He had an MRI just today and the doctor said swelling is there .. bleeding has stopped ... and there is blockage in the arteries... they may need to operate but will observe him for a week. They are suggesting they may do an tracheostomy if he is there longer than 10 days, he is still on ventilator but I am not sure how sedated he is. How long should he be on ventilator, should the swelling reduce at what rate? I know these are in a way, unanswerable but any advice? He can raise his arm when asked but keeps his eyes closed and remains pretty much non responsive most of th time. Please help in any advice or anything. My partner is freaking out and although I have done a lot of reading online I still would like some one on one advice.
Thanks.
Putali
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:26 pm

User avatar Hi Putali,

I am sorry to hear of your father's stroke. Unfortunately, your questions are quite difficult to answer. The reason is that the course of recovery for stroke patients is incredibly variable. Often, symptoms will improve some over the first several days because some of the symptoms are being caused by swelling that subsequently improves. The lasting symptoms may or may not continue to recover depending on how much damage was done by the stroke.

If an adult is on a ventilator for an extended length of time, a tracheostomy tube is usually recommended. This can help minimize tracheal trauma and allow the patient to no longer have a tube down the throat.

Regarding the questions to ask his doctor it is important to ask how the doctor feels his progress is going and what type of long term rehabilitation he will need. Keeping updated with your father's care team will help give you the information you will need.

Best wishes.
 Putali - Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:51 am

Hi Dr Chan Lowe, thank you for taking the time to reply... So much has happened since I posted that. He has had a craniectomy to relieve the swelling, he is still in ICU, ha has a fever and his blood pressure is high. He is still not very responsive but if you talk to him he does eventually trys to open his eyes. It seems there is a very long road to recovery, I am at present researching rehabilitation options in Mumbai India but he is in a very good hospital and seems to be getting top care. The fever and BP is concerning but I am sure the road to recovery will have things to scare us. Thanks again for your advice.

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