What is the full form of CVA
CVA: Cerebral Vascular Accident or Cerebrovascular Accident
CVA stands for Cerebral Vascular Accident or Cerebrovascular Accident. It is also referred to as stroke. It is a medical condition in which blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced. As a result, the brain cells don't get sufficient oxygen and nutrients and they start to die. CVA is a severe condition which is one of the leading causes of death in Australia. It usually affects one side of the brain.
Types of cerebral vascular accident or stroke
There are mainly two types of CVS: an ischemic stroke and a hemorrhagic stroke.
1) Ischemic Stroke: It is the most common type of stroke. It occurs when an artery is blocked due to a blood clot and the supply of oxygen and nutrients to a part of the brain gets interrupted. It can happen in two different ways:
- Embolic stroke: It occurs when a clot forms in other parts of the body and then moves to the brain and gets lodged in a blood vessel in the brain.
- Thrombotic stroke: It occurs when a clot forms in a blood vessel within the brain. A blood clot that forms and remains in the brain is called a cerebral thrombus.
2) Hemorrhagic stroke: It occurs when a blood vessel ruptures, as a result of which the blood flow to a part of the brain is interrupted. Any blood vessel in the brain or a membrane surrounding the brain may rupture in this stroke.
- Difficult walking
- Lack of balance and coordination
- Blurred vision
- A sudden headache
- Paralysis or numbness, usually on one side of the body
The diagnosis of CVA involves full physical examination and various diagnostic tests, some of which are as follows:
- Blood tests: These are performed to test your blood's clotting time, sugar levels and infection etc.
- Angiogram: In this test, a dye is added to the blood and X-ray of the head is taken. It helps find the blocked or hemorrhaged blood vessel.
- Carotid ultrasound: It studies the blood vessels in the neck. It helps detect abnormal blood flow to the brain.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan: It helps find the problem areas and other conditions that might cause a stroke.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): It is performed to get a more detailed picture of the brain.
- Echocardiogram: It creates a picture of your heart using sound waves. It helps find the source of blood clots.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): It measures the electrical activity of the heart. It is performed to check if an abnormal heart rhythm is causing the stroke.
There are many measures that may help prevent a stroke, some of which are:
- Maintain normal body weight and blood pressure
- Limit saturated fat intake
- Limit cholesterol intake
- Quite smoking
- Avoid or drink alcohol in moderation
- Control diabetes
- Increase intake of fruits and vegetables