PULMONARY COMPLICATIONS OF A STROKE

When the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or constricted, the brain can be deprived of oxygen and nutrients leading to the death of brain cells. This is known as a stroke and is a medical emergency in need of prompt treatment to prevent paralysis, memory loss, brain damage, speech impediment and self-care ability, including feeding. When self-care abilities are compromised due to a stroke, a feeding tube may be necessary. These feeding tubes often cause pulmonary complications, the most common of which is Pneumonia.

WHAT CAUSES A STROKE?

Deprived of oxygenated blood, the brain cells can die within minutes causing temporary or possibly permanent disabilities, depending on how long the brain the brain was deprived and which part was affected.

There are two main types of strokes, ischemic strokes and haemorrhagic strokes.
Ischemic strokes are caused by blood clots. Clots can form in the neck or brain due to plaque build-up in the arteries (caused by cholesterol), or they can form in a part of the body and travel to the brain, blocking a small blood vessel. Ischemic strokes can sometimes be a warning in the form of a mini-stroke where the stroke is temporary; these are called transient ischemic attacks. In other cases, these strokes are not warnings, and the symptoms are more severe.

A hemorrhagic stroke, on the other hand, occurs when a weakened blood vessel in the brain (known as an aneurysm) bursts and bleeds in the brain. This puts pressure on the blood cells and surrounding tissue, cutting off their blood supply. The blood vessels can be weakened by chronic high blood pressure.