Cerebrovascular Accident Essay

1699 words - 7 pages

Cerebrovascular accident, or stroke, is the third leading reason for death in the United States and the number one cause of disability, with 3 million people permanently disabled as a result of stroke (Schonbeck, 2012). A cerebrovascular accident occurs when there is death of brain cells due to oxygen deprivation; in addition there is the loss of nutrients to the blood supply to the brain being diminished both a result of either a rupture, or blockage of an artery to the brain (Schonbeck, 2012). Once the brain is deprived of oxygen, brain cells rapidly start to die, causing permanent damage. Depending on which area of the brain is affected, the result may be paralysis, difficulty speaking, and loss of memory or even death (Stroke, 2011). The degree of the damage to the brain will be determined by the type of cerebrovascular attack, the area or areas of the brain involved, and the length of time that passes before treatment is initiated.
The majority of strokes, approximately 90 percent, are ischemic strokes (Stroke, 2010). Some of the main types of stroke are cerebral thrombosis and cerebral embolism, both caused by a blockage of the blood supply to the brain, occurring in a main artery of the neck, the carotid, or other arteries that supply blood to the brain, or an artery in the brain itself (Stroke, 2010). Blood clots are formed, as a result of plaque deposits in these arteries. Another type of ischemic stroke is an embolic stroke, which happens when a blood clot develops in a blood vessel a distance away from the brain ordinarily in the heart. The embolus then is carried through the bloodstream to imbed itself in brain arteries which are narrowed, slowing the flow of blood (Stroke, 2010). One of the most common causes of cerebral embolism is atrial fibrillation, a condition when the atrium of the heart beats irregularly (Stroke, 2011). Blood clots form in the atria, breaking off and subsequently, enter into the bloodstream, causing a blockage, and possibly a cerebrovascular accident (Stroke, 2010).
Another type of stroke is a hemorrhagic stroke. This type of stroke can occur when a blood vessel in your brain bursts or leaks blood into the area surrounding the brain tissue (Cerebrovascular Accident, 2012). Brain hemorrhages can result from several conditions that have an effect on the blood vessels, with uncontrolled hypertension and aneurysms, which is a weakened spot in an arterial wall, being two of the most common reasons for stroke (Cerebrovascular Accident, 2012). A transient ischemic attack, or TIA, is sometimes referred to as a ministroke. A TIA is described as a momentary occurrence of symptoms comparable to the symptoms of a stroke, many TIA’s lasting only a few minutes (Stroke, 2010). This also is caused by a decreased blood supply to a portion of the brain, occurring when a clot or debris blocks blood flow to part of your brain. However, in contrast to a stroke, a TIA does not leave enduring effects since the...

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