Stroke is a brain disease that occurs due to interruption of blood supply to the brain. This results in inadequate supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain tissues resulting in damage or death of brain cells.

Mainly stroke occurs due to following two reasons:

Stroke that occurs due to blockage, like a blood clot is called an ischemic stroke and most of the strokes (about 80 percent) are ischemic.

Other strokes occur due to breakage of a blood vessel that results in bleeding in or around the brain. Some hemorrhagic strokes are caused by a ruptured aneurysm in the brain. This is called a hemorrhagic stroke and about 20 percent of strokes are hemorrhagic.

Symptoms of Stroke:

  • Paralysis
  • Weakness on one side of the body
  • Trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Headaches
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Loss of balance
  • Memory difficulties
  • Visual problems
  • Emotional problems
  • Problems with muscles and movement like muscle spasms that cause pain
  • Palliative Care for Stroke

Palliative care is specially designed medical care that focuses to give relief to the patient from symptoms and stress of serious illness like Stroke. Stroke is a serious disorder that may cause permanent disability to the patient. Palliative care for people recovering from stroke is patient and family centered care that improves life by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering.

Palliative care is provided by a team of specialists, including palliative care doctors, nurses and social workers who work in association with patient’s doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Although it can be given at any age and at any stage of illness but ideally, it should be started as soon as Stroke occurs and be continued throughout the entire course of illness and treatment.

Goals of Palliative Care for Stroke

  • Improve quality of life for both patient and his family
  • Take care of the physical, psychological, social, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient
  • Explain the real condition of illness and scope of improvement of symptoms to the patient
  • Manage stroke symptoms through medicines and other treatments
  • Work with other doctors to manage pain and other side effects of medicines
  • Counsel patient and his family on what to expect from disease and treatment
  • Discuss the needs and expectations of patient for the future at home
  • Support the patient for the best quality of life
  • Assist patient and family to cope with the challenges of living with stroke
  • Clarify patient goals for care

Advantages of Palliative Care for Stroke

  • Provides relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness like stroke
  • Minimizes long-term effects of stroke
  • Prescribes medicines and suggests other therapies to deal with depression or anger
  • Helps patient to understand the benefits and side effects of each treatment, and how these treatments fit in with their personal goals for care and recovery
  • Helps the patient to live a more comfortable life
  • Guides patient and his family for taking difficult decisions like getting a feeding tube if patient is having trouble swallowing
  • Explains real physical and mental expectations to the patient and help them in developing a realistic plan to cope with them
  • Discusses the need of home health care, and the services of assisted living, skilled nursing or acute rehab
    Enhances communication between patient, family and doctors