Acute vs. Subacute CVA

Patient

Q: Is there a time-frame cut off for the diagnosis of Acute CVA and Sub-acute CVA?

Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. An Acute cerebral vascular accident usually presents with sudden symptoms of paralysis, loss of consciousness, or cognitive deficits when a blood vessel within the brain breaks or there is a blood clot that enters the brain blocking circulation. Sub-acute CVA's could be transient ischemic attacks in which the symptoms resolve after some time, and can recur. There is no specific diagnostic protocol between sub-acute and acute CVAs. If a patient comes to the emergency department with symptoms of a CVA, and is diagnosed, they are treated as fast as possible to prevent permanent neurological deficits.
The subacute management of CVA's on the other hand does not involve the use of thromboembolytic medications as in the acute management of CVA's. Subacute management is usually performed after the patient visits the emergency room and cleared for any cardiovascular problems, and can be managed on an outpatient basis by a physician.

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