Check out the latest news, videos and articles from our physicians at Vascular Surgery Specialists.
Video by the National Institute of Health
P.A.D. Stay in Circulation Patient Education
This video features the stories of three individuals who were recently diagnosed with P.A.D. The video answers key questions about P.A.D. and provides information about signs, symptoms, and risk factors.
National Neurological Disorders and Stroke
What is Stroke?
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding brain cells. Brain cells die when they no longer receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood or there is sudden bleeding into or around the brain. The symptoms of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble with walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination; or sudden severe headache with no known cause. There are two forms of stroke: ischemic - blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain, and hemorrhagic - bleeding into or around the brain.
Is there any treatment?
Generally there are three treatment stages for stroke: prevention, therapy immediately after the stroke, and post-stroke rehabilitation. Therapies to prevent a first or recurrent stroke are based on treating an individual's underlying risk factors for stroke, such as hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and diabetes. Acute stroke therapies try to stop a stroke while it is happening by quickly dissolving the blood clot causing an ischemic stroke or by stopping the bleeding of a hemorrhagic stroke. Post-stroke rehabilitation helps individuals overcome disabilities that result from stroke damage. Medication or drug therapy is the most common treatment for stroke. The most popular classes of drugs used to prevent or treat stroke are antithrombotics (antiplatelet agents and anticoagulants) and thrombolytics.
What is the prognosis?
Although stroke is a disease of the brain, it can affect the entire body. A common disability that results from stroke is complete paralysis on one side of the body, called hemiplegia. A related disability that is not as debilitating as paralysis is one-sided weakness or hemiparesis. Stroke may cause problems with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory. Stroke survivors often have problems understanding or forming speech. A stroke can lead to emotional problems. Stroke patients may have difficulty controlling their emotions or may express inappropriate emotions. Many stroke patients experience depression. Stroke survivors may also have numbness or strange sensations. The pain is often worse in the hands and feet and is made worse by movement and temperature changes, especially cold temperatures.
Recurrent stroke is frequent; about 25 percent of people who recover from their first stroke will have another stroke within 5 years.
What research is being done?
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) conducts stroke research and clinical trials at its laboratories and clinics at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and through grants to major medical institutions across the country. Currently, NINDS researchers are studying the mechanisms of stroke risk factors and the process of brain damage that results from stroke. Basic research has also focused on the genetics of stroke and stroke risk factors. Scientists are working to develop new and better ways to help the brain repair itself to restore important functions. New advances in imaging and rehabilitation have shown that the brain can compensate for function lost as a result of stroke.
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892
Retrieved from www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/stroke/stroke.htm
NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient's medical history.
All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.
Last updated June 29, 2012
Are You at Risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in a large vein. Part of a clot may break off and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism and, possibly, death. Protect yourself.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE) are a major public health problem in the United States. Estimates suggest that 300,000 to 600,000 Americans have DVT/PE each year, and that 60, 000 to 100,000 people die as a result. Many of those who have a DVT or PE also have complications that can greatly impact their quality of life.
Everybody should know the risk factors, symptoms, and steps they can take to protect themselves.
Factors that Increase the Risk of Developing DVT Include:
- Major surgery
- Immobility, such as being in the hospital and long travel
- Recent injury
- Increased estrogen, from birth control pills, pregnancy, and certain medications
- Certain chronic medical illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer
- Previous DVT
- Age (risk increases as age increases)
Know the Symptoms
Deep Vein Thrombosis
About half of people with DVT have no symptoms at all. For those who do have symptoms, the following are the most common and occur in the affected part of the body (usually the leg):
- Redness of the skin
- Hard to breathe
- Faster than normal heart beat
- Chest pain or discomfort, which usually worsens with a deep breath or coughing
- Cough up blood
- Very low blood pressure or lightheadedness, or black out
If you have any of these symptoms, you should seek medical help immediately.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself
The following tips can help prevent DVT:
- Move around as soon as possible after having been confined to bed, such as after surgery, illness, or injury.
- If you're at risk for DVT, talk to your doctor about:
- Graduated compression stockings (sometimes called "medical compression stockings";)
- Medication (anticoagulants) to prevent DVT.
- When sitting for long periods of time, such as when traveling for more than four hours:
- Get up and walk around every 2 to 3 hours.
- Exercise your legs while you're sitting by:
- Raising and lowering your heels while keeping your toes on the floor
- Raising and lowering your toes while keeping your heels on the floor
- Tightening and releasing your leg muscles
- Wear loose-fitting clothes.
- Drink plenty of water, and avoid drinking anything with alcohol or caffeine in it.
- Exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, and don't smoke.
CDC is conducting research to learn more about risk factors, and improve the diagnosis and treatment of DVT/PEby funding the Thrombosis and Hemostasis Centers Research and Prevention Network. In addition, CDC funds health promotion and wellness initiative to provide people with information about how to prevent DVT and its complications.
Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Division of Blood Disorders
Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Division of News and Electronic Media
Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/Features/Thrombosis/