What is included in patient education about thrombolytic therapy following a stroke?

Updated: May 05, 2021
  • Author: Jeffrey L Saver, MD, FAHA, FAAN; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Education regarding the availability of thrombolytic therapy for stroke is important for patients with risk factors for stroke and those who have experienced a transient ischemic attack or prior stroke.

Emphasizing the importance of arriving at the hospital as early as possible for treatment is imperative. The 4 main warning signs of an acute ischemic stroke are the following:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body

  • Sudden loss or change of vision

  • Sudden speech difficulty or language comprehension difficulty

  • Sudden dizziness or gait difficulty

Patients should be instructed that if they experience any of these symptoms and the symptoms last for 5 minutes, they should call 911 immediately or be driven to the nearest emergency department (American Heart Association guidelines).

For excellent patient education resources, visit eMedicineHealth's Brain and Nervous System Center. Also, see eMedicineHealth's patient education article Stroke.

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