Consequences and possible complications after a stroke

The consequences after a stroke occur in the overwhelming majority of cases and can be either early, which occur a few hours or days after the pathology, or distant, developing in a month or more. The greater or lesser likelihood of negative consequences is determined by the patient’s age, gender, type of stroke, and the correctness of rehabilitation. The risk of disability after a previous illness is 80%.

Risk group for complications of stroke

With a stroke, the risk of developing severe complications is especially high in a certain category of patients. Most often, early complications, from which up to 40% of patients die in the first month after the disease, are observed for the following reasons:

  • male sex – in men, the aging of blood vessels occurs much earlier than in women, and the vascular walls turn out to be thinned by the age of 45-50 years, when in women at 60 years of age and later,
  • persistent hypertension,
  • chronic diseases of the heart and respiratory system,
  • prolonged alcohol abuse,
  • smoking experience for more than 5 years – often the cause that caused an acute stroke,
  • second stroke,
  • brain injury
  • head surgery less than 3 years before stroke,
  • diabetes.

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The more severe the patient’s condition, the higher the risk of consequences that will be irreversible. Even if the stroke is the first, it cannot be guaranteed that the body will be able to recover from it.

Important! If after a stroke, the patient receives help within the first 6 hours, the risk of complications is significantly reduced.

Early complications

When blood circulation in the brain is impaired, its tissues experience acute oxygen starvation, due to which their necrosis develops. The more the lesion has a patient, the more severe the consequences of the violation. If a significant part of the brain is damaged, then the patient’s death occurs, since the work of all systems and organs is disrupted. Timely treatment and proper care of the patient after a stroke help reduce the risk of the victim’s deterioration. If a person is not hospitalized after he has had a cerebral infarction, then the loved ones who will take care of him should be given all medical recommendations on what kind of assistance should be provided. They also need to know the possible complications, and what are the means to prevent them.

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One of the most common consequences after a stroke is if a person is bedridden. The mortality rate from all cases of such a complication is about 60%. This type of stroke consequences are very difficult and long lasting. Pneumonia develops due to the fact that the patient cannot normally cough up phlegm. It accumulates in the lungs and bronchi, and pathogenic bacteria develop in it, due to which inflammation occurs.

The following helps to prevent pneumonia:

  • broad-spectrum antibiotics,
  • drainage massage of the lung area, which improves the discharge of sputum,
  • changing the position of the patient’s body 2-3 times a day.

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If the patient can fully cough, then mucolytic agents are used that contribute to the high-quality excretion of sputum.

Thrombosis of the legs

Complication poses a serious danger to the patient, as it often ends in death. With prolonged lying in the lower extremities, stagnation of venous blood develops, and blood clots form. If their movement occurs, then there is a high probability of pulmonary embolism, which can lead to death.

Proper care of the bedridden patient helps to prevent thrombosis of veins in the legs, including the following:

  • bandaging the legs with an elastic bandage or using compression underwear,
  • daily passive or active gymnastics for the legs, aimed at flexion and extension,
  • daily massage of the lower extremities,
  • use of special inflatable cuffs for the legs, allowing for short-term intense compression and getting rid of congestion.

If the person is not bedridden or moves their legs normally, there is no risk of thrombosis. His condition does not require prevention of complications.


The most common complication of stroke is partial or complete paralysis of the patient. Also, only one side of the body can be paralyzed. The phenomenon develops immediately after the stroke has occurred. Paralysis is associated with damage to areas of the brain that are responsible for the movement and work of muscles. The complication can be reversible and irreversible. If the paralysis does not recede, it is practically impossible to expect that the patient will live long after a stroke. Such a vascular stroke is extremely dangerous due to severe destruction of brain tissue.

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Mental disorders

Such a violation appears if the disease affects the parts of the brain that are responsible for human emotions. Because of this, the patient may have inadequate reactions to what is happening. It is also not uncommon for such a violation to be accompanied by severe hallucinations. This phenomenon is temporary and disappears as the brain tissue recovers. Until the moment of recovery, symptomatic drug therapy is required. All medications for treatment must be prescribed by a doctor.

Disturbed thinking

This phenomenon seriously complicates the process of caring for the patient, since he does not understand what is happening and can show significant aggression. The caregiver should accept everything with great patience and not get nervous in the process of caring for the patient. The condition will gradually improve and the inadequate reactions will subside. If, in relation to the patient, due to his abnormal behavior, rudeness appears, this will only worsen the condition.

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Acute heart failure

In women, this complication is less common. It develops with severe brain damage, when the patient’s condition is moderate or severe. In most cases, it is not possible to save the patient, even in modern medical institutions.

A severe and extremely dangerous consequence of a stroke, which occurs quite often. With proper therapy, if a not very large area of ​​the brain is affected, the likelihood that the patient will recover sufficiently well remains.

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Pressure sores

This is a complication that occurs in bedridden patients in any period after a stroke, if, due to paralysis, a person cannot move, as a result of which pressure is exerted on certain parts of the body for a long time. As a result of the compression of the vessels, local blood circulation is disturbed, due to which the patient’s tissues die and bedsores develop. The main places of their appearance:

  • heels,
  • elbows,
  • sacral section,
  • buttocks,
  • area of ​​the shoulder blades,
  • the back of the head.

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The danger of bedsores is not only that they cause excruciating pain in the patient. This damage can cause sepsis, which will kill a person in a few days.

To prevent the appearance of a complication, it is necessary to move the patient every 3 hours, as well as use special mattresses that help change the pressure on different parts of the body and prevent prolonged starvation of tissues without a normal blood supply.

Late consequences

Late complications include deterioration in the patient’s condition, which occurs a month or more after a stroke. They can pose a threat to life or reduce its quality. The main complications of the late period are:

  • repeated stroke (if the problem occurs a second or third time, the probability that the patient will be saved is minimal),
  • cysts and brain tumors – patients do not live with them for a long time and usually die within 2-3 years,
  • gradual mental degradation,
  • visual and hearing impairment,
  • frequent headaches
  • acute weather dependence.

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A doctor who has had a stroke patient helps to correct his condition and facilitate the care of his loved ones. Correct rehabilitation, in which all medical recommendations are followed, significantly reduces the likelihood of late complications. Stay in a specialized sanatorium has a positive effect on the recovery process of the body, if the patient is not bedridden.

If a person is diagnosed with a mini stroke, then complications should not arise, and it can be successfully overcome. After high-quality treatment, the disease completely disappears without leaving even residual symptoms. However, after such a disturbance in the state of the brain, you need to take special care and carefully monitor your well-being, since with an improper lifestyle, overload, lack of sleep and the absence of monitoring pressure, the development of a full-fledged vascular stroke cannot be ruled out.

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The consequences that occur after a stroke are often no less dangerous than the cerebral infarction itself, and require mandatory medical intervention. Timely seeking medical attention at the first signs of a stroke can significantly reduce the risk of complications.

Stroke. Consequences of a Stroke. Help with acupuncture points. Stroke. Causes and consequences. How to avoid the severe consequences of a stroke

Tatyana Jakowenko

Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.