Stroke is a serious condition brought on by either an arterial blood leak or lack of blood supply to the brain. The prognosis following a stroke is highly dependent on the type of stroke endured, the affected area of the brain and especially the complications that occur after the stroke. On the positive side, strokes have a high survival rate (about 75 per cent). On the negative side, the complications that occur after a stroke are fairly crippling.
A definitive prognosis will rely heavily on what type of stroke an individual develops. For example, ischemic stroke (caused by an interruption of blood to the brain) has a low mortality rate, with only 8 per cent of victims dying within the next 30 days. Hemorrhagic strokes (caused by an arterial blood leak) have a much higher mortality rate, with 40 to 80 per cent of victims dying within the next 30 days. Around 50 per cent of all people who suffer a hemorrhagic stroke die within the next 48 hours.
A stroke prognosis typically includes the chance of permanent damage to the body. For example, aphasia (difficulty in speaking or inability to speak at all) is one severe post-stroke symptom. Control over the bowels and bladder is often lost and unable to return. Weakness on one side of the body, known as hemiplegia, may often occur as a result of brain damage related to stroke.
Immobility is another common factor included within a stroke prognosis. Immobility makes its victims more susceptible to complications like blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis). Careful monitoring of the legs is important, as blood clots can be fatal if allowed to travel upwards to the heart and lungs. Pressure sores and ulcers may also develop on portions of the skin if the body remains immobile. These can be prevented by repositioning a body affected by stroke and allowing skin to breathe.
A stroke leaves its victims at a much higher risk of having another stroke. In fact, around 25 hemiplegia of people who have a stroke experience an additional stroke within the next five years. Three hemiplegia of those affected experience another stroke within the following 30 days. While the survival rate is still competent, a person's chance of dying from stroke increases with every additional stroke he experiences.
Most people experience some form of bodily weakness following a stroke. This may affect the entire body, one side of the body or a specific portion of the body such as the hands or feet. Victims may lose their ability to walk, feed themselves, drive or work appliances like computers as a result of bodily weakness.