A ]]>stroke]]> can be devastating for the patient. Caused by either a blood clot (ischemic stroke) or a ruptured blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke), a stroke disrupts the blood flow to the brain, according to the ]]>National Institutes of Health (NIH)]]>. Without enough oxygen, which is carried by the blood, brain cells die. The stroke can start as a severe headache, which gets worse when changing positions; the headache can also awake the patient, and occur when she is lying down. Other symptoms of a stroke include tingling, muscle weakness, personality changes, eyesight problems, sensation changes and unconsciousness.
The prognosis depends on treatment: the faster the patient receives medical attention, the less brain damage she experiences. Some of the possible injury to the brain can severely limit the patient's ability. The ]]>Mayo Clinic]]> notes that complications of a stroke include paralysis, problems swallowing or talking, pain and memory loss. The NIH adds that the patient may breathe food into her airway, a condition called aspiration. Other complications include decreased life span, loss of brain function, malnutrition, fractures from falling during the stroke and problems taking care of self.