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Frequently asked questions about stroke and stroke care

What is a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?

TIA is also known as a “mini stroke.” It is when the warning signs of a stroke last a short amount of time. Even though these warning signs may come and go, it is very serious and you should call your doctor right away.

Can I drive after a stroke?

Before driving your car again, you should talk to your doctor to be sure it is safe.

Is it normal to feel tired after a stroke?

Yes, it is common to feel tired after a stroke. Some people are more tired than others. This can be due to the changes in each person’s lifestyle.

How long will I have to stay at the hospital after a stroke?

Each person is different and your doctor will discuss with you how long you should stay in the hospital. 

How do I prevent having another stroke?

The best way to reduce the risk of another stroke is to live a healthy lifestyle. You can do this by eating right, not smoking, reducing the amount of alcohol you drink and following your doctor’s advice. When you decrease your risk factors, you decrease the chance of having another stroke.

What should I know about my medications?

Anticoagulants are blood thinners that help stop blood from clotting. When blood clots occur they can become stuck in an artery of the brain and cause a stroke. An example of an anticoagulant is warfarin, also known as Coumadin®.

Antiplatelets are medicines that also stop clotting. They prevent platelets from sticking together and forming clots. The goal is to keep the blood flowing and decrease the risk of stroke and heart attack. Some examples are: aspirin, Clopidogrel (Plavix®) and aspirin combined with extended release dipyridamole (Aggrenox®).

What is Telestroke?

Several Northwell Health hospitals utilize Telestroke. Telestroke uses a computer screen and video camera to allow neurologists, doctors who have special training and experience in stroke care, to evaluate you even if they are not in the hospital. Telestroke is just as good as if the neurologist was in the hospital; instead of the doctor being at your bedside in person, he or she will speak to you and evaluate you through a computer monitor. You and your family will be able to speak with the Telestroke neurologist and ask any questions you or your family may have.

Why is Telestroke important if I'm having a stroke?

Telestroke lets you to receive a fast brain evaluation by a stroke specialist. This evaluation helps the doctor know if you're able to receive a “clot-busting” drug or other ways to treat your stroke. The faster you have your stroke treated, the more likely you are to reduce stroke-related disabilities. Telestroke neurologists are available to you 24 hours a day.

What can i expect when I come to the emergency department?

In the Emergency Department, an emergency medicine doctor will examine you and tests may be ordered. If the doctor thinks you're having a stroke, the emergency medicine doctor will activate the Stroke Team. The Stroke Team will call the Telestroke neurologist.

Next, a wireless cart with a computer screen at the top will be brought into your exam room and placed next to your bed. The Telestroke neurologist will be able to see and hear you and your family, and you will be able to see and hear the Telestroke neurologist on the screen. You will be examined by the Stroke Team and the Telestroke neurologist. The Telestroke neurologist will review all of your test results and will work with the Stroke Team to recommend the right care for you. 

What is carotid stenosis?

Also called carotid artery disease, carotid stenosis is caused by a buildup of plaque (atherosclerosis) inside the artery wall that reduces blood flow to the brain. Treatment aims to reduce the risk of stroke by controlling or removing plaque buildup and preventing blood clots.

At Northwell Health Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery we offer comprehensive consultations and evaluations to help ensure patients receive the best treatment for carotid stenosis based on their individual needs. Patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis may opt for either surgical or nonsurgical treatments, depending upon their evaluation.

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