Acute Ischemic Stroke: Evaluation and Management Strategies

Mona N. Bahouth, MSN, CRNP; Marian P. LaMonte, MD, MSN


Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing eJournal. 2005;5(4) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Stroke is an emergent, treatable condition with the amount of disability often linked to the response time for treatment. Acute ischemic stroke often can be reversed successfully with the clot lysis drug recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA), if initial evaluation is immediate and intravenous infusion begins within 3 hours of stroke symptom onset. The advanced practice nurse plays a key role in identifying acute stroke, recommending therapies, facilitating treatment, and preventing and monitoring complications.

An aggressive effort is underway to improve the quality of care delivered to patients with acute stroke. Now that an effective therapy is available for acute ischemic stroke, new care delivery models include a critical role for nurse practitioners. Providers in both the primary and critical care settings must be aware of the presenting symptoms of stroke and the latest available therapies to offer patients the best possible care. This article reviews the most commonly seen stroke syndromes and describes management strategies with which the advanced practice nurse should be familiar.