At the Hospital

You are at the highest risk for having another stroke within the first 24 hours, so you will closely monitored during this time.

Once admitted, you will be placed on monitors that will track your vital signs: heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen level. Your heart rate, heart rhythm and oxygen will be watched continuously. Your blood pressure will be checked often during the first 24 hours.

Because stroke happens in the brain, you will also be monitored for any neurological (brain) changes. Your nurse will often check your speech, vision, movement, sensation and ability to understand. You will also have tests to help determine the type of stroke you had and what caused it.

During this time, your activity may be restricted. In fact, you may need to be on complete bed rest until your tests are done. Bed rest helps to maximize blood flow to the brain. Your nurse will let you know what your limitations are.

Soon after you arrive on the unit, your nurse will check how well you can swallow. This is called a bedside swallow screen. This shows if you can safely swallow liquids, pills or food. If it seems unsafe for you to swallow, you will not be allowed to eat or drink until checked a speech therapist examines you more thoroughly.

While you are in the hospital, you will need rest periods during the day.