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Stroke management - The first 24 hours

CPD Hours



Critical care and emergency nursing
Clinical practice and procedures
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A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is suddenly interrupted.

The area of the brain where the blood supply is disrupted is damaged and may die, leading to sudden impairment of a range of functions.

Stroke is a leading cause of disability and accounted for 5% of all deaths in Australia in 2013.

Stroke is a time-critical medical emergency. Several strategies have been demonstrated to reduce stroke-related brain damage and long-term disability. These include:

Rapid initiation of stroke management strategies in the pre-hospital setting.

Acute inpatient stroke care, ideally in a dedicated stroke unit.

Ongoing care and patient-centred rehabilitation.

This module focuses on the acute care of stroke patients during the first 24 hours after arriving at hospital.

It draws heavily on the Stroke Foundation’s Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management 2017.

This module assumes an understanding of pre-hospital stroke care, including the recognition of initial stroke signs and symptoms, and rehabilitation strategies.

Learning Objective

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Explain why a rapid and correct diagnosis of stroke is critical
  • List investigations used to confirm a diagnosis of stroke
  • Discuss treatment options for ischaemic stroke
  • Discuss treatment options for haemorrhagic stroke

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