The cells in your brain require a steady supply of oxygen to function. When deprived of oxygen carried within the bloodstream, the brain cells begin to die within a few minutes. This can inflict permanent brain damage. When a stroke occurs, the blood supply to the brain is obstructed. This serious medical condition requires an emergency visit to the nearest hospital with a comprehensive stroke center. At the stroke center, patients may be diagnosed with ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, or with a transient ischemic attack (TIA).
The majority of all strokes are ischemic strokes, which means that the medical condition is caused by a blood clot that obstructs the blood supply to the brain. Individuals with atherosclerosis are at an increased risk of ischemic stroke. Atherosclerosis occurs when fatty deposits accumulate in the blood vessel linings. When atherosclerosis is present, a blood clot can develop within that clogged blood vessel, a condition known as cerebral thrombosis. Or, the blood clot may form elsewhere and then travel to the brain, which is known as cerebral embolism.
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
A TIA stroke is a type of warning stroke that is caused by a blood clot. However, the obstruction of blood flow is temporary. Usually, symptoms last only a few minutes. However, patients should never wait for stroke symptoms to resolve; they should immediately call 911 for emergency medical help.
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel in the brain ruptures. This causes bleeding onto the nearby brain tissue. As the blood accumulates, it compresses the brain tissue. Hemorrhagic strokes may be caused by a ruptured aneurysm or by an abnormal cluster of blood vessels.
St. Petersburg General Hospital has achieved certification by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center, a designation that reflects our continuing dedication to saving lives through exceptional patient care and prompt emergency response. If you would like more information, we invite you to visit our website or call our free Consult-A-Nurse health information and referral line at (888) 741-5122.