Emergency treatment for stroke depends on whether you’re having an ischemic stroke, which is a stroke where an artery in the brain has a blockage, or a hemorrhagic stroke, which involves bleeding into the brain.
Ischemic stroke treatment begins with first restoring a patient’s breathing, heart rate and blood pressure back to normal ranges. Once that is accomplished, only then will a physician begin trying to reduce pressure in the brain. Treatments for ischemic stroke include:
- Intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and emergency IV medication
- Mechanical thrombectomy or an endovascular procedure
Treatment of hemorrhagic stroke focuses on controlling the bleeding and reducing the pressure in your brain caused by the excess fluid. Treatments of hemorrhagic stroke include:
- Surgery (craniotomy) to repair blood vessels, including surgical clipping, surgical removal of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), angioplasty and stents
- Carotid endarterectomy
- Endovascular embolization
- Stereotactic radiosurgery
Even after your stroke has been treated, you are at the highest risk for having another stroke within the first 24 hours of the first one. You will be closely monitored during this time.