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Cerebrovascular Accident CVA Cerebrovascular Accident CVA more commonly known as a stroke is a sudden interruption of blood flow in a vessel that supplies the brain Strokes are the third leading cause of death worldwide 600000 strokes occur in the US each year Tabers 2069 CVA is the most serious type of stroke A transient ischemic attack TIA also known as a mini-stroke is a temporary interruption of blood flow to the brain This type of stroke is most commonly a blood clot or thrombus that quickly breaks apart or becomes dislodged Butler 419 Risk factors for stroke include advanced age esp greater then 65 hypertension carotid artery disease smoking hyperlipidemia diabetes atrial fibrillation history of myocardial infarction and atherosclerosis Tabers 2069 CVAs are most commonly caused by blockage of the carotid or intracerebral arteries by clot or atherosclerosis known as cerebral infarction CVAs of this type account for 80 of all strokes Tabers 2069 Cerebral infarction is usually treated with thrombolytic drugs breaks up thrombus or blood thinners Although these drugs can reduce the chances for another cerebral infarction they triple the chances of intracerebral hemorrhage Tabers 2069 Most other strokes are caused by intracerebral hemorrhage bleeding in the brain caused by a ruptured blood vessel Hypertension is the most common cause of intracerebral hemorrhage Tyner 160 Hemorrhagic strokes have a 50 mortality rate If caught early they can sometimes be treated by repairing intracerebral aneurysms Tabers 2069 The seriousness of the stroke depends on how long blood flow was interrupted the area of the brain affected and the extent of permanent neurological damage For example occlusion of the right middle cerebral artery would affect the frontal and parietal lobes Occlusion of the right or left posterior cerebral artery would affect the occipital lobe Tyrer 161-162 Symptoms of stroke include sudden weakness or numbness of face arm or leg loss or dimming of vision difficult or slurred speech severe headache dizziness and
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