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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574

Abstract

BATEMAN, K. Medical management of acute ischaemic stroke. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2019, vol.109, n.2, pp.72-76. ISSN 2078-5135.  http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/samj.2019.v109i2.00008.

This article provides a practical overview of current medical treatments for acute ischaemic stroke, particularly for those in a busy family or general practice. Stroke is defined as an acute neurological deficit lasting >24 hours and caused by cerebrovascular disease. It may be ischaemic, caused by vessel stenosis or occlusion, or haemorrhagic, caused by rupture of vessels, resulting in intraparenchymal and/or subarachnoid haemorrhage. Transient ischaemic attack is defined as a transient episode of neurological dysfunction caused by focal brain, spinal cord or retinal ischaemia without acute infarction, replacing the old time-based definition. The goals of management of patients with an acute stroke are as follows: make an accurate assessment and diagnosis, limit the extent of the brain injury, avoid and treat stroke-related complications, evaluate the underlying aetiology that is closely linked to the prognosis for recurrent stroke, institute appropriate secondary prevention and facilitate post-stroke recovery.

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