Physicians must first determine the cause of the stroke.
If the stroke is caused by a blockage due to a blood clot,
caregivers may administer Tissue Plasminogen Activator, or t-PA,
a clot-busting drug that must be administered within a few hours
of the first apperance of symptoms. Stroke patients who receive
t-PA are 55 percent more likely to have little or no disability
after three months. That's why it's critical to recognize stroke
symptoms and get treatment rapidly.
If the stroke is caused by a hemorrhage, treatment depends on the
underlying cause of the bleeding and the extent of damage to the
brain. If a hemorrhage is caused by high blood pressure,
medicines are given to bring the blood pressure down. If a
hemorrhage results from using anticoagulants - or blood thinners
- use of these medicines is discontinued immediately and medicine
may be administered to reverse the effects and reduce the
Surgery to repair the broken blood vessel may be needed to save
the patient's life or improve chances of recovery. The type of
surgery depends on the cause of the bleeding, which may include
arteriovenous malformation or aneurysm.