Acute Stroke Case Study



Clarity of Objectives General Objectives

After 2 hours of case presentation, the students will be able to obtain the knowledge to enhance skills and to develop the attitude towards caring of the patient with cases regarding ischemic stroke.

Specific Objectives

Specifically, this aims to



Explain the pathophysiology of ischemic stroke. 2.

Identify the main cause of the disease. 3.

 Name the signs and symptoms of the disease manifested by the client.



Carry out independent and dependent intervention being done to the client appropriately and with care. 2.

Perform comprehensive nursing interventions based on the client’s priority needs.


Demonstrate proper approach used in clients with ischemic stroke.



Establish rapport to the client and folks. 2.

Encourage the folks to cooperate to the intervention being performed. 3.

Avoid promising words that might worsen the client’s condition.


This case study forms part of the Stroke Course

History of Presenting Condition

Michael is a 61 year old Senior Partner in a Law Firm. While eating breakfast Michael experienced sudden onset slurring of speech, had facial droop on his left hand side with weakness in left side upper and lower limbs. Michael's wife Mary spotted these sudden onset of symptoms and immediately called for an ambulance, which arrived within 15 mins.

Past Medical History

Asthma - Dx Aged 8

Hypertension Grade 1 - Dx 5 years ago

Prediabetes - Dx 3 years ago

Medication History

Seretide Accuhaler

Ventolin (As Required - Not Required for over 1 Year)


Social History

61 Year Old Senior Partner at a Law Firm, recently reduced working hours 20 - 30 hours per week, previously worked 50 - 60 Hours

Planning on retirement in 1 - 2 years

Lives in a Bungalow with his wife Mary, who is a recently Retired Teacher.

2 Adult Children, both married with their own children - 1 lives close by, the other lives overseas.

Lifestyle Changes implmented over past 2 - 3 Years foloowing Dx Prediabetes.

Outside work he enjoys golf, usually playing at least 2-3 per week. Also enjoys playing Bridge with Friends.

Took up walking 3 Years ago following Dx Prediabetes. Walks 5 - 6 days per week for between 30 - 45 mins

Ex-Smoker - Hx Smoking 30 Years x 10 - 15/day - Quit 3 Years ago following Dx Prediabetes

Social Beer Drinker 10 - 15 Standard Drinks per week with 3 - 4 per session, although sometimes after Golf may be more.

Pre-Hospital Assessment


Physical Exam:

FAST +ve

  • Left Facial Droop
  • Left Motor Weakness: Upper Limb 0/5, Lower Limb 2/5
  • Slurred Speech 

Pre Hospital Assessment Scale:

Los Angeles Prehospital Stroke Screen (LAPSS) & Los Angeles Motor Scale (LAMS)


1. Age greater than 45 years 


2. History of Seizures or Epilepsy 


3. Onset of Neurological Symptoms is less than 24 hours 


4. Patient was Ambulatory prior to onset of symptoms 


5. Blood Glucose between 60 and 400 mg/dl




6. Motor Exam: Examine for Motor Asymmetry

    Based on Exam below, patient has Unilateral 'Weakness:

  EqualRightLeftLAMS SCORE
Facial Smile / Grimace  
Droop 1
Grip Strength  

No Grip

 Arm Srength  

Falls Rapidly


Acute Hospital Assessment


Physical Exam:

  • Confusion
  • Left Facial Droop
  • Slurred Speech 
  • Left Motor Weakness Upper Limb 0/5, Lower Limb 2/5
  • Decreased Tone
  • Altered Sensation
  • Mild Left Sided Neglect

Acute Assessment Scale:

NIH Stroke Scale: 19

Test ElementsOn Admission12 Hours post tPA24 Hours post tPA
Level Of Consciousness 1 0 0
LOC Questions 2 1 0
LOC Commands 1 1 0
Best Gaze 1 1 1
Visual Field Testing 1 1 1
Facial Palsy 2 2 1
Motor Function Arm Right 0 0 0
Motor Function Arm Left 4 3 2
Motor Function Right Leg 0 0 0
Motor Function Left Leg 2 2 1
Limb Ataxia 0 0 0
Sensory 1 1 1
Aphasia 1 1 0
Dysarthria 2 1 1
Extinction & Inattention 1 1 1
Total Score19159




  • Hyperdensity in the M1 Segment of the Right Middle Cerebral Artery, with no other signs suggestive of an Ischemic Stroke noted.
    Provisional diagnosis of Acute Ischemic Stroke secondary to occlusion of the M1 was made
    Patient was treated with intravenous Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) at 1 h 54 min after symptom onset


  • Multimodal MRI Scan completed at 3 h 09 min after symptom onset demonstrated Ischemic Changes confined predominantly to the Right Middle Cerebral Artery
  • Perfusion-weighted MRI showed larger perfusion abnormality, indicating presence of a substantial volume of potentially salvageable penumbral tissue.
  • Time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiography showed a loss of signal in the Right Internal Carotid Artery and Middle Cerebral Artery.

Cerebral Angiography

  • Cerebral angiogram performed post MRI demonstrated Occlusive Thrombus extending from the Right Internal Carotid Artery Origin through the Right Middle Cerebral Artery Trunk.
  • Recanalization was attempted by Endovascular Thrombectomy performed 4 h 19 min after symptom onset

Medical Management

Thrombolysis & Endovascular Mechanical Thrombectomy:

  • Discussed with Family & Patient
  • tPA Prescribed and Initiated within 1hr 54mins After Onset Symptoms
  • Endovascualr Thrombectomy Initiated at 3hr 

Stroke Unit:

  • Admitted to Acute Stroke Unit
  • 24 Hour Monitoring
  • MDT Referral Received within 24 Hours - OT, SLT & PT

Physiotherapy Objective

Physiotherapy Management

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