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