Disease Analysis: Cerebrovascular Disease

3312 Words13 Pages
Cerebrovascular disease or the term stroke is used to describe the effects of an interruption of the blood supply to a localised area of the brain. It is characterized by rapid focal or global impairment of cerebral function lasting more than 24 hours or leading to death (Hatano, 1976). As such it is a clinically defined syndrome and should not be regarded as a single disease. Stroke affects 174-216 people per 10,000 population in the UK per year and accounts for 11% of all deaths in England and Wales (Mant et al, 2004). The risk of recurrent stroke within 5 years is between 30-43%. One problem is that the incidence of stroke rises steeply with age and the number of elderly people in the UK is on the increase. To date people who experience a stroke occupy around 20 per cent of all acute hospital beds and 25 per cent of long term beds (Stroke Association, 2004). The British Government now identifies stroke as a major economic burden on the National Health Service (DoH, 2002). This paper will focus on an examination of a case study to understand the human toll of a stroke and how nurses can help these patients. M. is a 79-year-old woman who was admitted to the emergency department yesterday with a severe headache. Shortly after admission, she became unresponsive; a brain scan revealed she had suffered a total anterior circulatory stroke. Marianne's pupils are dilated and do not respond to light; she is breathing with the assistance of a respirator. Her elderly husband and
Open Document