CVA (Stroke) (Cerebrovascular Accident)
The sudden dailure to function of some brain cells
due to lack of oxygen when the blood flow to the brain is impaired by blockage
or rupture of an artery to the brain. A CVA is also referred to as a stroke.
Symptoms of a stroke depend on the area of the brain affected. The most common
symptom is weakness or paralysis of one side of the body with partial or complete
loss of voluntary movement or sensation in a leg or arm. There can be speech
problems and weak face muscles, causing drooling. Numbness or tingling is very
common. A stroke involving the base of the brain can affect balance, vision,
swallowing, breathing and even unconsciousness. A stroke is a medical emergency.
Anyone suspected of having a stroke should be taken immediately to a medical
facility for diagnosis and treatment which should, but unfortunately usually does not, include daily trips to a hyperbaric chamber until function has returned or six weeks have passed.
“Apoplexy” is an old term for a stroke. The word comes from the Greek apoplexia meaning a seizure, in the sense of being struck down. The ancients believed that someone suffering a stroke (or any sudden incapacity) had been struck down by the gods.