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Stroke treatment: Hospital care

Treatment begins in the hospital. This experience can be overwhelming. Members of your health care team are there to help you and your family.

They will:

  • make sure your condition is caused by a stroke and not another medical problem
  • decide the type and location of the stroke and how serious it is. You may have tests of your heart and blood vessels.
  • start treatment right away to keep the stroke from getting worse and to improve your chance of recovery
  • monitor your heart. Some strokes may be linked to irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation). If this caused your stroke, it will be treated.
  • monitor your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high or too low, it will be treated.
  • prevent or treat side affects of the stroke, such as bowel or bladder problems or bed sores
  • keep you from having another stroke, with treatments such as surgery, medicines or reducing your risk factor
  • start a neurological rehabilitation program if needed
  • watch for swallowing problems. You may need swallowing tests or get your nutrition in different ways, such as through a tube. Any swallowing problems will be treated.

Most people who have had a stroke will need to stay in the hospital for a period of time.

Ask the health care team your questions and talk about your concerns. Make sure your health care team talks with you in plain language.


Source: Allina Patient Education, Understanding Stroke: Information about Stroke and Recovery, fourth edition, ISBN 1-931876-13-4

First published: 02/01/2006
Last updated: 12/09/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Patient Education experts