Bed position in hospitals may be a factor for stroke patients
Stroke victims should be aware of several guidelines when trying to manage their health.
Stroke victims should be aware of several guidelines when trying to manage their health. In addition to taking medications such as Lipitor, being aware of certain physical complications, such as arm weakness, difficulty speaking or experiencing numbing sensations may make a difference in receiving emergency medical attention sooner than later. One study recently looked into how a certain dynamic to hospital visits may have a huge impact on stroke symptoms: bed positioning.
Bed position is key
Because most strokes are produced by clots within the brain that restrict blood flow, colleagues issued a warning to stroke patients who spend lengthy durations sitting upright. Suffering a stroke requires more blood and oxygen to your brain than normal during the recovery process, and sudden instances of sitting upright could cause decrease in both of these levels.
However, sitting upright occasionally throughout the day could also produce certain advantages for stroke patients. Strokes tend to increase intracranial pressure on the skull, which also weighs down brain tissue and fluid. Too much intracranial pressure will damage the brain, but short periods of sitting upright can help improve blood drainage, which in turn can work toward decreasing the risk of added intracranial pressure.
The researchers stated that the overall best position for hospitalized stroke patients is lying as flat as possible. This will help blood and oxygen flow slowly toward the brain, allowing the system to get back to normal levels. In addition, the colleagues analyzed how stroke patients who also suffer from orthopnea, a disease that causes difficulty breathing while lying down flat, should keep the head of their bed kept at the lowest elevation the patient can withstand. This can improve blood and oxygen production while promoting a more steady breath. The researchers also alluded to frequent position changes, while still laying flat, that could help remove the possibility of bedsores, a common symptom for those who remain bedridden for too long.
Dr. Murray Flaster, a neurologist at Loyola University and leading contributor in the study, stated that while hospital bed position may seem tedious, it's absolutely necessary to avoid further complications and relapses later in life.
"The period immediately following an acute ischemic stroke is a time of significant risk," Flaster and his colleagues wrote in a statement. "Meticulous attention to the care of the stroke patient during this time can prevent further neurologic injury and minimize common complications, optimizing the chance of functional recovery."