A stroke is damage to the brain caused by an interruption to it's blood supply or rupture of a blood vessel causing leakage of blood into the brain. These pages have been designed to provide information for patients and their carers about strokes, transient ischaemic attacks and Stroke Unit care. Information is provided about the tests that are done, treatments that are available, the process of rehabilitation, recovery and life after a stroke.
What is a Stroke Unit?
A stroke unit is a special ward in a hospital where stroke patients are cared for by a multidisciplinary team which specialises in stroke care. The core team consists of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, dieticians, therapy assistants, psychologists and social workers. Other health care professionals are sometimes called on for help if required.
All stroke care is provided from our specialist combined (acute and rehab) stroke units at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital (Wards 6B and 8A) which means that stroke patients can be cared for from the early stage of their strokes all the way through to a substantial part of their rehabilitation and sometimes through to discharge.
What are the benefits of being treated in a specialist Stroke Unit?
Research has shown that stroke patients treated on a stroke unit do better than those treated on normal medical wards. Patients are more likely to survive the stroke, have fewer disabilities and be able to live independently if treated on a stroke unit.
What treatement may you receive on a Stroke Unit?
The essential components of stroke unit care include monitoring of physiological variables (body temperature, blood pressure, oxygen levels, blood sugars etc.), attention to fluid balance and hydration and early mobilisation and physiotherapy.
The other main features are a co-ordinated multidisciplinary and patient centred approach, the use of goal setting for patients, multidisciplinary meetings and information and education for both patients and staff. In addition, there are tried and tested methods of dealing with complications and other problems arising from strokes.
Stroke related research is often undertaken on stroke units to improve care for patients. Our stroke service conducts several research studies including TICH2, PRESERVE, PROMOTE, ROSE, FOCUS and RESTART.
About this section of the website
These web pages were designed to provide information for stroke patients, relatives and carers. The information is for guidance only and can not substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other health care professional. Always check with your doctor, nurse, therapist or other health professional if you have any concerns about your condition or treatment.
This site was designed by members of the stroke team of the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Several standard references and web sites were consulted during this process and these include: 1. Stroke - a practical guide to management, CP Warlow (ed) Blackwell Publishing 2. Stroke- Your questions answered, G J Hankey, Churchill Livingstone 3. Websites of the Stroke Association, The Internet Stroke Centre and others.