Medical complications following stroke account for significant morbidity and mortality. These clinical conditions need to be recognized and managed effectively for a more favorable outcome. Direct effects of ischemic stroke, like hemorrhagic conversion or cerebral edema, account for the majority of deaths within the first week, but other medical complications that include cardiac causes (arrhythmias, myocardial infarction), infections (pneumonia, urosepsis), and venous thromboembolism account for at least 50% of mortality thereafter. In this clinical summary, Dr. Adrian Marchidann of SUNY Downstate Health Science Center discusses the medical complications of stroke-related deficits, their workup, and treatment modalities. Venous thromboembolism care information was updated according to the 9th edition of the American College of Chest Physicians guidelines.
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