• Stroke of the Heart

    stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells begin to die in minutes. A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is crucial. Early action can reduce brain damage and other complications. The effects of your stroke depend on the type of stroke, the part of the brain that was damaged and the amount of damage.

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    Dr. Chi-Ming Chow, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FACC, FASE, Cardiologist talks about how the risk of stroke is determined for Atrial Fibrillation patients using the CHADS score.
    Dr. Chi-Ming Chow, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FACC, FASE, Cardiologist talks about how the risk of stroke is determined for Atrial Fibrillation patients using the CHADS score.
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    Nicole Gorman, MN-NP(F), CCN(C), Nurse Practitioner, discusses how patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation can take control of their condition through healthy living, diet and exercise.
    Nicole Gorman, MN-NP(F), CCN(C), Nurse Practitioner, discusses how patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation can take control of their condition through healthy living, diet and exercise.
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    Sarah Blunden, P.Dt, CDE, CPT, Professional Dietitian, talks about being mindful when it comes to our mental health and the link to bad eating habits.
    Sarah Blunden, P.Dt, CDE, CPT, Professional Dietitian, talks about being mindful when it comes to our mental health and the link to bad eating habits.
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    Nicole Gorman, MN-NP(F), CCN(C), Nurse Practitioner, discusses how patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation can take control of their condition through healthy living, diet and exercise.
    Nicole Gorman, MN-NP(F), CCN(C), Nurse Practitioner, discusses how patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation can take control of their condition through healthy living, diet and exercise.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke

    Caused when an artery in the brain breaks open. The interrupted blood flow causes damage to your brain. High blood pressure weakens arteries over time and is a major cause of hemorrhagic stroke.

    Transient ischemic attack (TIA)

    Caused by a small clot that briefly blocks an artery. It is sometimes called a mini-stroke or warning stroke. The TIA symptoms usually last less than an hour, and may only last a few minutes. TIAs are an important warning that a more serious stroke may occur soon.

    Ischemic stroke

    Caused by a blockage or clot in a blood vessel in your brain. The blockage can be caused when a substance called plaque builds up on the inside wall of an artery.

  • Preventing Stroke With Anticoagulants in AF Patients

    Stroke is one of the most feared complications of atrial fibrillation. About one in every five strokes in North America is caused by atrial fibrillation, and if you have atrial fibrillation, your chances of having a stroke are about sixfold higher than in a similar person who doesn’t have atrial fibrillation.

                        

    Most strokes in atrial fibrillation unfortunately, lead to permanent disability from paralysis or inability to talk, or walk or speak. Stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation is caused by blood clots, which form in the heart and then dislodge and go to the brain, stopping blood from getting to the brain cells, and when brain cells die, you get a stroke because your brain doesn’t function anymore.

    Anticoagulants are sometimes known as blood thinners. They’re not actually blood thinners, what they are is anti-clot agents, and these are drugs that prevent the blood from clotting when it is in the heart.

    It’s important to know that the blood still clots, even if you’re on an anti-clot agent. So people don’t bleed to death; they are more likely to bleed if they cut themselves, for example, but these anti-clot agents are basically very effective at preventing these clots from forming in the heart, and then dislodging and going to the brain or other organs.

    There are different kinds of anticoagulants, known as blood thinners, that patients and doctors can use. The choices are generally made between patients and doctors after a discussion, which we call shared decision making.

    The traditional blood thinner, which has most frequently been used in the past, is called Warfarin, sometimes known as rat poison. Warfarin has been around since the 1950s, and it is very effective at preventing clots and reducing the risk of stroke.

    Unfortunately, Warfarin is a complicated drug to take, and there are now – in North America and worldwide – at least three and soon four other newer blood thinners, so-called novel oral anticoagulants, are taken once or twice a day, and do not need monitoring.

    In other words, one size fits all, so to speak, and the doctor makes a decision as to what the right dose is for that particular patient, and the patient then takes the medication and is followed up by their doctor. Usually every six months or as infrequently as every year.

    It’s very important that patients have a detailed discussion with their doctors and their pharmacists to make sure that they’re taking their medications appropriately. It’s important to know that medications only work if you take them regularly, exactly as instructed.

    Missing doses or stopping the medication – even temporarily – can put patients at risk for stroke. This is a conversation that is very important to have with your family doctor, with your cardiologist if you have a cardiologist, and your pharmacist to make sure that you’re taking the medications exactly as recommended in the right time frame, and that you don’t miss any doses. This is an ongoing challenge for patients and for doctors, to make sure that the medicines are taken exactly as they’re supposed to be taken.   Often seeing a local family physician or a pharmacist in conjunction with a registered dietitian is a great option to take control of dehydration. In conjunction with healthy eating, exercise and  Smart Food Now

    Presenter: Dr. Paul Dorian, Cardiologist, Toronto, ON

    Now Health Network Local Practitioners: Cardiologist

Heart Failure Now

Heart Failure Now

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