Med Surg: Chapter 58 Stroke
Terms in this set (28)
After a patient experienced a brief episode of tinnitus, diplopia, and dysarthria with no residual effects, the nurse anticipates teaching the patient about
a. cerebral aneurysm clipping.
b. heparin intravenous infusion.
c. oral low-dose aspirin therapy.
d. tissue plasminogen activator (tPA).
The patient's symptoms are consistent with transient ischemic attack (TIA), and drugs that inhibit platelet aggregation are prescribed after a TIA to prevent stroke. Continuous heparin infusion is not routinely used after TIA or with acute ischemic stroke. The patient's symptoms are not consistent with a cerebral aneurysm. tPA is used only for acute ischemic stroke, not for TIA.
A 68-year-old patient is being admitted with a possible stroke. Which information from the assessment indicates that the nurse should consult with the health care provider before giving the prescribed aspirin?
a. The patient has dysphasia.
b. The patient has atrial fibrillation.
c. The patient reports that symptoms began with a severe headache.
d. The patient has a history of brief episodes of right-sided hemiplegia.
A sudden onset headache is typical of a subarachnoid hemorrhage, and aspirin is contraindicated. Atrial fibrillation, dysphasia, and transient ischemic attack (TIA) are not contraindications to aspirin use, so the nurse can administer the aspirin.
A 73-year-old patient with a stroke experiences facial drooping on the right side and right-sided arm and leg paralysis. When admitting the patient, which clinical manifestation will the nurse expect to find?
a. Impulsive behavior
b. Right-sided neglect
c. Hyperactive left-sided tendon reflexes
d. Difficulty comprehending instructions
Right-sided paralysis indicates a left-brain stroke, which will lead to difficulty with comprehension and use of language. The left-side reflexes are likely to be intact. Impulsive behavior and neglect are more likely with a right-side stroke.
During the change of shift report a nurse is told that a patient has an occluded left posterior cerebral artery. The nurse will anticipate that the patient may have
c. visual deficits.
d. poor judgment.
Visual disturbances are expected with posterior cerebral artery occlusion. Aphasia occurs with middle cerebral artery involvement. Cognitive deficits and changes in judgment are more typical of anterior cerebral artery occlusion.
When teaching about clopidogrel (Plavix), the nurse will tell the patient with cerebral atherosclerosis
a. to monitor and record the blood pressure daily.
b. that Plavix will dissolve clots in the cerebral arteries.
c. that Plavix will reduce cerebral artery plaque formation.
d. to call the health care provider if stools are bloody or tarry.
Clopidogrel (Plavix) inhibits platelet function and increases the risk for gastrointestinal bleeding, so patients should be advised to notify the health care provider about any signs of bleeding. The medication does not lower blood pressure, decrease plaque formation, or dissolve clots.
A patient with carotid atherosclerosis asks the nurse to describe a carotid endarterectomy. Which response by the nurse is accurate?
a. "The obstructing plaque is surgically removed from an artery in the neck."
b. "The diseased portion of the artery in the brain is replaced with a synthetic graft."
c. "A wire is threaded through an artery in the leg to the clots in the carotid artery and the clots are removed."
d. "A catheter with a deflated balloon is positioned at the narrow area, and the balloon is inflated to flatten the plaque."
In a carotid endarterectomy, the carotid artery is incised and the plaque is removed. The response beginning, "The diseased portion of the artery in the brain is replaced" describes an arterial graft procedure. The answer beginning, "A catheter with a deflated balloon is positioned at the narrow area" describes an angioplasty. The final response beginning, "A wire is threaded through the artery" describes the mechanical embolus removal in cerebral ischemia (MERCI) procedure.
A patient admitted with possible stroke has been aphasic for 3 hours and his current blood pressure (BP) is 174/94 mm Hg. Which order by the health care provider should the nurse question?
a. Keep head of bed elevated at least 30 degrees.
b. Infuse normal saline intravenously at 75 mL/hr.
c. Administer tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) per protocol.
d. Administer a labetalol (Normodyne) drip to keep BP less than 140/90 mm Hg.
Because elevated BP may be a protective response to maintain cerebral perfusion, antihypertensive therapy is recommended only if mean arterial pressure (MAP) is >130 mm Hg or systolic pressure is >220 mm Hg. Fluid intake should be 1500 to 2000 mL daily to maintain cerebral blood flow. The head of the bed should be elevated to at least 30 degrees, unless the patient has symptoms of poor tissue perfusion. tPA may be administered if the patient meets the other criteria for tPA use.
A 56-year-old patient arrives in the emergency department with hemiparesis and dysarthria that started 2 hours previously, and health records show a history of several transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). The nurse anticipates preparing the patient for
a. surgical endarterectomy.
b. transluminal angioplasty.
c. intravenous heparin administration.
d. tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) infusion.
The patient's history and clinical manifestations suggest an acute ischemic stroke and a patient who is seen within 4.5 hours of stroke onset is likely to receive tPA (after screening with a CT scan). Heparin administration in the emergency phase is not indicated. Emergent carotid transluminal angioplasty or endarterectomy is not indicated for the patient who is having an acute ischemic stroke.
A female patient who had a stroke 24 hours ago has expressive aphasia. The nurse identifies the nursing diagnosis of impaired verbal communication. An appropriate nursing intervention to help the patient communicate is to
a. ask questions that the patient can answer with "yes" or "no."
b. develop a list of words that the patient can read and practice reciting.
c. have the patient practice her facial and tongue exercises with a mirror.
d. prevent embarrassing the patient by answering for her if she does not respond.
Communication will be facilitated and less frustrating to the patient when questions that require a "yes" or "no" response are used. When the language areas of the brain are injured, the patient might not be able to read or recite words, which will frustrate the patient without improving communication. Expressive aphasia is caused by damage to the language areas of the brain, not by the areas that control the motor aspects of speech. The nurse should allow time for the patient to respond.
For a patient who had a right hemisphere stroke the nurse establishes a nursing diagnosis of
a. risk for injury related to denial of deficits and impulsiveness.
b. impaired physical mobility related to right-sided hemiplegia.
c. impaired verbal communication related to speech-language deficits.
d. ineffective coping related to depression and distress about disability.
The patient with right-sided brain damage typically denies any deficits and has poor impulse control, leading to risk for injury when the patient attempts activities such as transferring from a bed to a chair. Right-sided brain damage causes left hemiplegia. Left-sided brain damage typically causes language deficits. Left-sided brain damage is associated with depression and distress about the disability.
When caring for a patient with a new right-sided homonymous hemianopsia resulting from a stroke, which intervention should the nurse include in the plan of care?
a. Apply an eye patch to the right eye.
b. Approach the patient from the right side.
c. Place objects needed on the patient's left side.
d. Teach the patient that the left visual deficit will resolve.
During the acute period, the nurse should place objects on the patient's unaffected side. Because there is a visual defect in the right half of each eye, an eye patch is not appropriate. The patient should be approached from the left side. The visual deficit may not resolve, although the patient can learn to compensate for the defect.
The nurse identifies the nursing diagnosis of imbalanced nutrition: less than body requirements related to impaired self-feeding ability for a left-handed patient with left-sided hemiplegia. Which intervention should be included in the plan of care?
a. Provide a wide variety of food choices.
b. Provide oral care before and after meals.
c. Assist the patient to eat with the right hand.
d. Teach the patient the "chin-tuck" technique.
Because the nursing diagnosis indicates that the patient's imbalanced nutrition is related to the left-sided hemiplegia, the appropriate interventions will focus on teaching the patient to use the right hand for self-feeding. The other interventions are appropriate for patients with other etiologies for the imbalanced nutrition.
A 40-year-old patient has a ruptured cerebral aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage. Which intervention will be included in the care plan?
a. Apply intermittent pneumatic compression stockings.
b. Assist to dangle on edge of bed and assess for dizziness.
c. Encourage patient to cough and deep breathe every 4 hours.
d. Insert an oropharyngeal airway to prevent airway obstruction.
The patient with a subarachnoid hemorrhage usually has minimal activity to prevent cerebral vasospasm or further bleeding and is at risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE). Activities such as coughing and sitting up that might increase intracranial pressure (ICP) or decrease cerebral blood flow are avoided. Because there is no indication that the patient is unconscious, an oropharyngeal airway is inappropriate.
A 47-year-old patient will attempt oral feedings for the first time since having a stroke. The nurse should assess the gag reflex and then
a. order a varied pureed diet.
b. assess the patient's appetite.
c. assist the patient into a chair.
d. offer the patient a sip of juice.
The patient should be as upright as possible before attempting feeding to make swallowing easier and decrease aspiration risk. To assess swallowing ability, the nurse should initially offer water or ice to the patient. Pureed diets are not recommended because the texture is too smooth. The patient may have a poor appetite, but the oral feeding should be attempted regardless.
A male patient who has right-sided weakness after a stroke is making progress in learning to use the left hand for feeding and other activities. The nurse observes that when the patient's wife is visiting, she feeds and dresses him. Which nursing diagnosis is most appropriate for the patient?
a. Interrupted family processes related to effects of illness of a family member
b. Situational low self-esteem related to increasing dependence on spouse for care
c. Disabled family coping related to inadequate understanding by patient's spouse
d. Impaired nutrition: less than body requirements related to hemiplegia and aphasia
The information supports the diagnosis of disabled family coping because the wife does not understand the rehabilitation program. There are no data supporting low self-esteem, and the patient is attempting independence. The data do not support an interruption in family processes because this may be a typical pattern for the couple. There is no indication that the patient has impaired nutrition.
Several weeks after a stroke, a 50-year-old male patient has impaired awareness of bladder fullness, resulting in urinary incontinence. Which nursing intervention will be best to include in the initial plan for an effective bladder training program?
a. Limit fluid intake to 1200 mL daily to reduce urine volume.
b. Assist the patient onto the bedside commode every 2 hours.
c. Perform intermittent catheterization after each voiding to check for residual urine.
d. Use an external "condom" catheter to protect the skin and prevent embarrassment.
Developing a regular voiding schedule will prevent incontinence and may increase patient awareness of a full bladder. A 1200 mL fluid restriction may lead to dehydration. Intermittent catheterization and use of a condom catheter are appropriate in the acute phase of stroke, but should not be considered solutions for long-term management because of the risks for urinary tract infection (UTI) and skin breakdown.
A 72-year-old patient who has a history of a transient ischemic attack (TIA) has an order for aspirin 160 mg daily. When the nurse is administering medications, the patient says, "I don't need the aspirin today. I don't have a fever." Which action should the nurse take?
a. Document that the aspirin was refused by the patient.
b. Tell the patient that the aspirin is used to prevent a fever.
c. Explain that the aspirin is ordered to decrease stroke risk.
d. Call the health care provider to clarify the medication order.
Aspirin is ordered to prevent stroke in patients who have experienced TIAs. Documentation of the patient's refusal to take the medication is an inadequate response by the nurse. There is no need to clarify the order with the health care provider. The aspirin is not ordered to prevent aches and pains.
A patient in the clinic reports a recent episode of dysphasia and left-sided weakness at home that resolved after 2 hours. The nurse will anticipate teaching the patient about
a. alteplase (tPA).
b. aspirin (Ecotrin).
c. warfarin (Coumadin).
d. nimodipine (Nimotop).
Following a transient ischemic attack (TIA), patients typically are started on medications such as aspirin to inhibit platelet function and decrease stroke risk. tPA is used for acute ischemic stroke. Coumadin is usually used for patients with atrial fibrillation. Nimodipine is used to prevent cerebral vasospasm after a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
A 58-year-old patient with a left-brain stroke suddenly bursts into tears when family members visit. The nurse should
a. use a calm voice to ask the patient to stop the crying behavior.
b. explain to the family that depression is normal following a stroke.
c. have the family members leave the patient alone for a few minutes.
d. teach the family that emotional outbursts are common after strokes.
Patients who have left-sided brain stroke are prone to emotional outbursts that are not necessarily related to the emotional state of the patient. Depression after a stroke is common, but the suddenness of the patient's outburst suggests that depression is not the major cause of the behavior. The family should stay with the patient. The crying is not within the patient's control and asking the patient to stop will lead to embarrassment.
Which stroke risk factor for a 48-year-old male patient in the clinic is most important for the nurse to address?
a. The patient is 25 pounds above the ideal weight.
b. The patient drinks a glass of red wine with dinner daily.
c. The patient's usual blood pressure (BP) is 170/94 mm Hg.
d. The patient works at a desk and relaxes by watching television.
Hypertension is the single most important modifiable risk factor. People who drink more than 1 (for women) or 2 (for men) alcoholic beverages a day may increase risk for hypertension. Physical inactivity and obesity contribute to stroke risk but not as much as hypertension.
A patient in the emergency department with sudden-onset right-sided weakness is diagnosed with an intracerebral hemorrhage. Which information about the patient is most important to communicate to the health care provider?
a. The patient's speech is difficult to understand.
b. The patient's blood pressure is 144/90 mm Hg.
c. The patient takes a diuretic because of a history of hypertension.
d. The patient has atrial fibrillation and takes warfarin (Coumadin).
The use of warfarin probably contributed to the intracerebral bleeding and remains a risk factor for further bleeding. Administration of vitamin K is needed to reverse the effects of the warfarin, especially if the patient is to have surgery to correct the bleeding. The history of hypertension is a risk factor for the patient but has no immediate effect on the patient's care. The BP of 144/90 indicates the need for ongoing monitoring but not for any immediate change in therapy. Slurred speech is consistent with a left-sided stroke, and no change in therapy is indicated.
A patient with left-sided weakness that started 60 minutes earlier is admitted to the emergency department and diagnostic tests are ordered. Which test should be done first?
a. Complete blood count (CBC)
b. Chest radiograph (Chest x-ray)
c. 12-Lead electrocardiogram (ECG)
d. Noncontrast computed tomography (CT) scan
Rapid screening with a noncontrast CT scan is needed before administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), which must be given within 4.5 hours of the onset of clinical manifestations of the stroke. The sooner the tPA is given, the less brain injury. The other diagnostic tests give information about possible causes of the stroke and do not need to be completed as urgently as the CT scan.
Nurses in change-of-shift report are discussing the care of a patient with a stroke who has progressively increasing weakness and decreasing level of consciousness (LOC). Which nursing diagnosis do they determine has the highest priority for the patient?
a. Impaired physical mobility related to weakness
b. Disturbed sensory perception related to brain injury
c. Risk for impaired skin integrity related to immobility
d. Risk for aspiration related to inability to protect airway
Protection of the airway is the priority of nursing care for a patient having an acute stroke. The other diagnoses are also appropriate, but interventions to prevent aspiration are the priority at this time.
Which information about the patient who has had a subarachnoid hemorrhage is most important to communicate to the health care provider?
a. The patient complains of having a stiff neck.
b. The patient's blood pressure (BP) is 90/50 mm Hg.
c. The patient reports a severe and unrelenting headache.
d. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) report shows red blood cells (RBCs).
To prevent cerebral vasospasm and maintain cerebral perfusion, blood pressure needs to be maintained at a level higher than 90 mm Hg systolic after a subarachnoid hemorrhage. A low BP or drop in BP indicates a need to administer fluids and/or vasopressors to increase the BP. An ongoing headache, RBCs in the CSF, and a stiff neck are all typical clinical manifestations of a subarachnoid hemorrhage and do not need to be rapidly communicated to the health care provider.
The nurse is caring for a patient who has been experiencing stroke symptoms for 60 minutes. Which action can the nurse delegate to a licensed practical/vocational nurse (LPN/LVN)?
a. Assess the patient's gag and cough reflexes.
b. Determine when the stroke symptoms began.
c. Administer the prescribed short-acting insulin.
d. Infuse the prescribed IV metoprolol (Lopressor).
Administration of subcutaneous medications is included in LPN/LVN education and scope of practice. The other actions require more education and scope of practice and should be done by the registered nurse (RN).
After receiving change-of-shift report on the following four patients, which patient should the nurse see first?
a. A 60-year-old patient with right-sided weakness who has an infusion of tPA prescribed
b. A 50-year-old patient who has atrial fibrillation and a new order for warfarin (Coumadin)
c. A 40-year-old patient who experienced a transient ischemic attack yesterday who has a dose of aspirin due
d. A 30-year-old patient with a subarachnoid hemorrhage 2 days ago who has nimodipine (Nimotop) scheduled
tPA needs to be infused within the first few hours after stroke symptoms start in order to be effective in minimizing brain injury. The other medications should also be given as quickly as possible, but timing of the medications is not as critical.
The nurse is caring for a patient who has just returned after having left carotid artery angioplasty and stenting. Which assessment information is of most concern to the nurse?
a. The pulse rate is 102 beats/min.
b. The patient has difficulty speaking.
c. The blood pressure is 144/86 mm Hg.
d. There are fine crackles at the lung bases.
Small emboli can occur during carotid artery angioplasty and stenting, and the aphasia indicates a possible stroke during the procedure. Slightly elevated pulse rate and blood pressure are not unusual because of anxiety associated with the procedure. Fine crackles at the lung bases may indicate atelectasis caused by immobility during the procedure. The nurse should have the patient take some deep breaths.
A 70-year-old female patient with left-sided hemiparesis arrives by ambulance to the emergency department. Which action should the nurse take first?
a. Monitor the blood pressure.
b. Send the patient for a computed tomography (CT) scan.
c. Check the respiratory rate and effort.
d. Assess the Glasgow Coma Scale score.
The initial nursing action should be to assess the airway and take any needed actions to ensure a patent airway. The other activities should take place quickly after the ABCs (airway, breathing, and circulation) are completed.
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