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How long would a person survive after brain stroke ?

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Practicing since : 2002
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My father in law is 80, was very active skied nordic in the morning and downhill in the afternoon pratically every day. However, he was a chain smoker. About a year and 1/2 ago he had a stroke, and as it turns out it was the result of a silient heart attack he'd had about a year before. The clot was so hard that it couldn't be broken up. He is now confined between bed and chair, speaks but not very clearly, His mid seems sharp sometimes and at other times confused and physical therapy has been teminated due to lack of progress. My mother-in-law is also 80 and has in home care for him 24-7 but this is becoming quite a financial burden and we're worried about what happens when the money runs out. Long story short, is ther a source of statistics on how long a person ususally lives in ths condition....sorted by age? It sounds harsh but we're trying to get some idea of how long a haul we are in for....can we continue this care or do we try to find alternatives...
Thu, 19 Apr 2012 in Stroke
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 4 hours later
Hello and thanks for the query.

Your question is a very real question and I appreciate the candid nature of your query. I will try to give you some information which can help you in the decision-making process. When an individual suffers a stroke it can certainly lead to a debilitating condition which I am sure you are familiar with. It is it extremely difficult to predict the longevity of an individual after a stroke. There are a number of things which come into play and I will try to discuss these with you.

First of all when one is deconditioned from a stroke over a long period of time, this can affect the organs of the body. This includes the kidneys as well as the heart as well as organs which maintain blood sugar. Over a period of time we can expect a certain decline. I do not see any impending problem which would contribute to your father's condition declining rapidly.

There are honestly really no good statistical models which will help us predict his longevity in an accurate fashion. We have to consider multiple factors including his age as well as the conditions which he has which might include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and possibly something like diabetes or kidney insufficiency. I realize you are facing difficult decisions regarding how to best use your resources and how to best take care of his needs.

I will say that with my experience in patients which are somewhat similar to your father that I would expect his survival and longevity to be measured more in years rather than months or weeks. I hope that this rough estimate can help provide you with some degree of guidance and what to do next and to how best to utilize your resources.

Again I thank you for submitting your question. I hope my answer has been both informative and adequate. Should you have additional questions. I am available to address them.


Dr. Robert.
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