Following diagnosis of a stroke and initial treatment, stroke patients are usually admitted to the hospital into an intensive care unit or neurological unit, depending on their condition. The purpose of this hospital stay is to identify the cause of the stroke, monitor heart function, and
prevent or treat the development of any stroke-related medical complications. Once specific cause and risk factors have been identified, a strategy for prevention can be chosen.
In the hospital, doctors can further evaluate the patient’s condition to determine the best treatment and recovery plan. Additional tests may help identify what caused the stroke and any contributing risk factors.
Imaging tests may be performed in the hospital to determine the extent of injury to the brain and to discover the nature of the blood vessel problem that resulted in this injury.
The doctor may order blood tests during a stroke patient’s hospital stay. A stroke cannot be diagnosed by a blood test alone. However, these tests can provide information about stroke risk factors or medical conditions that may impact treatment. Some of the testing done might include
While in the hospital, many stroke patients begin a stroke rehabilitation program. Rehabilitation helps stroke survivors relearn skills that may be lost when part of the brain is injured, and is a vital part of the recovery process.