q Daniel Buckwald, Author at Kandu Stroke

The Link Between Hypertension and Stroke

Illustration of a heart monitor
Illustration of a heart monitor

The Link Between Hypertension and Stroke

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is a measurement of the pressure of your blood in your arteries as it is pumped around your body by your heart. The upper or first number (systolic blood pressure) is the pressure created when the heart beats, pushing blood out into the body. The bottom or second number (diastolic blood pressure) is the pressure in your arteries when your heart is resting in between beats.

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension is when the pressure in your blood vessels is higher than normal. It is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it usually presents no symptoms, yet it can lead to severe health complications if left untreated.

Normal versus High Blood Pressure

Sytolic mm Hg (Upper Number)

Blood Pressure Range Chart

Diastolic mm hg (Lower Number)

According to the American Heart Association, blood pressure over 120/80 is considered high. If your blood pressure is high, your healthcare team may recommend a different diet, exercise, or medication based on how high it is, and any other health issues you have.

High blood pressure means that your heart has to work harder than normal to pump blood around your body. High blood pressure can cause damage to the walls of blood vessels, which increases the chance of narrowing, rupturing, or forming blood clots. This can lead to blockage in the blood vessels that supply the brain, resulting in a stroke.

High blood pressure is the biggest risk factor for having a stroke. It affects other parts of the body as well and can lead to loss of vision, heart failure, heart attacks, dementia, and kidney failure.

Hypertension is the #1 risk factor for stroke.
It contributes to around 50% of all strokes.

Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

As hypertension often doesn’t have noticeable symptoms, it can be challenging to manage. It can go unnoticed until it causes a severe health problem like a stroke. Strokes can also happen suddenly and without warning. Therefore, it’s crucial to recognize the signs and seek medical attention immediately for better outcomes. Some common signs of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness, confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, vision problems, severe headache, loss of balance, and dizziness. Stroke symptoms can be remembered by using the phrase BE FAST.

BEFAST

Recognize the signs of a stroke

Illustration of a stroke survivor with a leg brace losing her balance

Balance

Sudden loss of balance

Illustration of a man with glasses pointing at his eyes

Eyes

Sudden change in vision in one or both eyes

Illustration of a woman moving her hand towards her face

Face

The face droops on one side

Illustration of a stroke survivor in a wheelchair

Arm

New arm weakness or numbness on one side

Illustration of a stroke survivor with an arm brace talking

Speech

New slurred or confused speech

Illustration of a woman with a pride flag pin on her top looking at her phone

Time

It’s TIME to call 9-1-1

Only a health professional can determine if you are having another stroke. If you are having a new stroke, every second matters. Call 9-1-1 and seek emergency care for a possible stroke if you experience the following symptoms.

Hypertension Prevention and Management

  • You may begin taking medications called antihypertensives. These will be prescribed by your healthcare team and adjusted to best suit your body and your blood pressure level. It’s important to take these exactly as prescribed.
  • There are many choices of antihypertensives. If you are prescribed medicines that are not working or have too many side effects, your doctor can help you to try another approach. Common side effects include tiredness, constipation or diarrhea, dry mouth or cough, dizziness, headaches, and nervousness.
  • Eat a balanced and nutritional diet.
  • Drink minimal alcohol and quit smoking.
  • Exercise as much as you can. This can be hard after a stroke, but your physical therapists and occupational therapists can provide you with exercise regimes suitable to your condition.
  • Reduce your caffeine intake. Be aware of hidden caffeine in things like cola drinks, tea and energy drinks.
  • Reduce your stress levels. Partner with your healthcare team for strategies, including counseling as needed.

It’s essential to understand hypertension in order to prevent strokes. By being aware of the signs and symptoms, adopting healthy lifestyle habits, and seeking support from healthcare professionals and community resources, individuals can take proactive steps to manage their blood pressure and reduce their risk of stroke. Together, we can make a positive impact and help prevent strokes in our communities.

Kandu Health offers remote clinical support through our app, stroke survivor community and team of Kandu Navigators. We provide information, resources, and guidance for stroke survivors and their care partners.

Register Today!

Text or call us at 415-384-5623, dial extension 1.

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Kandu Health Announces Clinical Evidence Demonstrating the Benefits of its Remote Post-Acute Care Offerings for Stroke Recovery

News

Kandu Health Announces Clinical Evidence Demonstrating the Benefits of its Remote Post-Acute Care Offerings for Stroke Recovery

– CAMPBELL, Calif.
Dec. 6, 2023

 

Data calls attention to stroke survivor independence, readmissions, quality of life and adherence to discharge plans

Kandu™ Health, a tech-enabled healthcare services company that is changing the course of stroke recovery and post-acute care, today announced new data shared at two conferences: the Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology (SVIN) Annual Meeting in Miami Beach and the Association of Neurovascular Clinicians (ANVC) Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Preliminary Outcomes from First Graduates of Kandu’s Program

At SVIN, Dr. Nancey Tsai, Medical Director for Kandu Medical Services and Assistant Professor at MUSC College of Medicine, presented a poster titled, “Preliminary Outcomes of a Survivor-Centric Digital Platform in Stroke Recovery”. The poster shared results from the first 60 graduates of Kandu’s remote post-acute service. In this analysis, Kandu program graduates experienced all-cause inpatient readmission rates of 4% at 30-days and 10% at 90-days; less than half of historically published unplanned readmission rates in similar populations. In addition, at the end of the 90-day program:

  • 97% of patients reported medication adherence
  • 92% of patients had completed a neurology follow-up
  • 100% of patients had established a relationship with a primary care provider

“For our first evidence presented at an academic conference, our goal was to share preliminary outcomes for the patients cared for to date, and demonstrate the feasibility of delivering remote telemedicine services to post-acute stroke survivors,” said Tudor Jovin, MD, Kandu Health’s Chief Medical Officer. “We are excited about the insights and promise demonstrated in these outcomes and look forward to building on this body of work in the coming year.”

Establishing Feasibility of a Post-Acute Stroke Navigation Platform

The award-winning ANVC 2023 poster by Lauren Sheehan, Sr. Director Clinical Services for Kandu Health, “Complex Needs & Dynamic Solutions – Metrics That Yield Outcomes in a Post-Acute Stroke Navigation Program,” evaluated how post-stroke impairments, Social Determinants of Health, and the presence of a care partner impact survivor engagement and outcomes in a remote post-acute stroke navigation program.

Jennifer Patterson, NP, Director of Neuroscience Operations at CHI Memorial Neuroscience Institute, who led the ANVC poster evaluation, said, “Stroke trials have traditionally categorized any patient who is able to live independently at 90 days (mRS 0-2) as having a ‘good outcome.’ What we see in the Kandu data is that 57% of patients achieving mRS 0-1 and 77% of those achieving mRS 2-3 engaged in 10 or more post-acute Navigator touchpoints over 12 weeks, demonstrating the significant need and opportunity for these services. Kandu’s ability to engage and support patients across a broad spectrum is encouraging.”

“We are excited to see the strong signal from this recent evidence that this work is important, our services are accessible to the communities they serve, and the outcomes we are generating are meaningful,” said Kirsten Carroll, CEO of Kandu Health. “We look forward to continued partnership with our stakeholders to generate additional clinical evidence that demonstrates our value and informs policy and standard of care for stroke survivors.”

Kandu Logo

Kandu Health is a commercial-stage Imperative Care company that provides tech-enabled healthcare services to people recovering from stroke. Kandu Health develops integrated solutions that aid in the stroke recovery process for stroke survivors, their providers, and care partners. Kandu Health provides hospital staff and payers with assurance that their patients are safe and connected to the best resources. Kandu Health began offering its program with its first hospital partners in the greater Los Angeles and South New Jersey areas. Kandu Health is based in Campbell, Calif. https://kanduhealth.com.

Investor Contact

Matthew Garrett, CFO, Imperative Care, Inc.
mgarrett@imperativecare.com

Media Contact

Lara Lingenbrink
llingenbrink@imperativecare.com

More News

Neurolutions, Inc. and Kandu Health Announce Strategic Partnership to Accelerate Access to Breakthrough Brain Computer Interface (BCI) and Remote Support for Stroke Rehabilitation

Neurolutions, Inc. and Kandu Health Announce Strategic Partnership to Accelerate Access to Breakthrough Brain Computer Interface (BCI) and Remote Support for Stroke Rehabilitation Continue Reading Neurolutions, Inc. and Kandu Health Announce Strategic Partnership to Accelerate Access to Breakthrough Brain Computer Interface (BCI) and Remote Support for Stroke Rehabilitation

Kandu Health Announces Preliminary Clinical Outcomes for Stroke Survivors

CAMPBELL, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kandu Health, Inc., a digital health company that is changing the course of stroke recovery and post-acute care, today announced preliminary outcomes from the first 40 stroke survivors served by its program. Continue Reading Kandu Health Announces Preliminary Clinical Outcomes for Stroke Survivors

Three Senior Leadership Appointments for Kandu Health

Kirsten Carroll appointed CEO; Stefan Heuser named CFO and Clayton Duncan named SVP, Commercialization Continue Reading Three Senior Leadership Appointments for Kandu Health

Neurolutions, Inc. and Kandu Health Announce Strategic Partnership to Accelerate Access to Breakthrough Brain Computer Interface (BCI) and Remote Support for Stroke Rehabilitation

News

Neurolutions, Inc. and Kandu Health Announce Strategic Partnership to Accelerate Access to Breakthrough Brain Computer Interface (BCI) and Remote Support for Stroke Rehabilitation

– SANTA CRUZ and CAMPBELL, Calif.
November 8, 2023

Companies’ Post-Stroke Solutions Aim to Significantly Improve Recovery Journey for Patients and Their Families

Neurolutions Inc ., the leader in the use of non-invasive brain computer interface (BCI) technology for post-stroke therapy, and Kandu Health™, a tech enabled health care services company that is changing the course of stroke recovery and post-acute care, today announced a strategic partnership aimed to raise the standard of care for post-stroke recovery. Through this partnership, Kandu Health’s expert clinicians will support Neurolutions by providing clinical consultation and assessments of stroke survivors to determine patients who may benefit from Neurolution’s IpsiHand System.

Kandu Health provides remote, multidisciplinary support to stroke survivors and care partners after hospital discharge through a team of clinically licensed navigators and an easy-to-use app.The IpsiHand System is a breakthrough therapeutic device and the only FDA-cleared, commercially available solution that enables non-invasive, at-home rehabilitation for stroke survivors affected by chronic motor deficits. The alliance between Neurolutions and Kandu Health offers stroke survivors streamlined, expert clinical assessment for the IpsiHand System, reducing the barriers to accessing this life-changing technology.

“The Neurolutions IpsiHand is a next generation solution that meets stroke survivors where they are and empowers them through advanced thought-driven neurotechnology. By partnering with Kandu Health, we can ensure that individuals who most need the IpsiHand System are able to get it in a timely manner, and with the critical clinical support needed to optimize patient care,” Hosaid Leo Petrossian, CEO of Neurolutions, Inc. “We believe this will significantly expedite the
recovery journey for countless stroke survivors.”

Kandu Health’s expertise in creating tech-enabled solutions for stroke recovery is a strong complement to Neurolutions’ IpsiHand System. Kandu Health’s integrated approach ensures that stroke survivors, clinicians, and care partners are connected, supported, and equipped with the resources throughout the recovery process.

Establishing Feasibility of a Post-Acute Stroke Navigation Platform

The award-winning ANVC 2023 poster by Lauren Sheehan, Sr. Director Clinical Services for Kandu Health, “Complex Needs & Dynamic Solutions – Metrics That Yield Outcomes in a Post-Acute Stroke Navigation Program,” evaluated how post-stroke impairments, Social Determinants of Health, and the presence of a care partner impact survivor engagement and outcomes in a remote post-acute stroke navigation program.

Jennifer Patterson, NP, Director of Neuroscience Operations at CHI Memorial Neuroscience Institute, who led the ANVC poster evaluation, said, “Stroke trials have traditionally categorized any patient who is able to live independently at 90 days (mRS 0-2) as having a ‘good outcome.’ What we see in the Kandu data is that 57% of patients achieving mRS 0-1 and 77% of those achieving mRS 2-3 engaged in 10 or more post-acute Navigator touchpoints over 12 weeks, demonstrating the significant need and opportunity for these services. Kandu’s ability to engage and support patients across a broad spectrum is encouraging.”

“We are excited to see the strong signal from this recent evidence that this work is important, our services are accessible to the communities they serve, and the outcomes we are generating are meaningful,” said Kirsten Carroll, CEO of Kandu Health. “We look forward to continued partnership with our stakeholders to generate additional clinical evidence that demonstrates our value and informs policy and standard of care for stroke survivors.”

Neurolutions Logo

Neurolutions is a medical technology company dedicated to transforming the lives of patients suffering from neurological conditions. Our mission is to develop innovative solutions that address the unmet needs of patients. We are focused on advancing the field of neurorehabilitation through cutting-edge research and development.

The IpsiHand System is a breakthrough therapeutic device in neurorehabilitation that uses brain-computer interface technology developed for chronic stroke patients with an impaired upper extremity to help regain function after stroke. The IpsiHand device has been clinically validated and has received FDA clearance for use in the United States. https://neurolutions.com

Kandu Logo

Kandu Health is a commercial-stage Imperative Care company that provides tech-enabled healthcare services to people recovering from stroke. Kandu Health develops integrated solutions that aid in the stroke recovery process for stroke survivors, their providers, and care partners. Kandu Health provides hospital staff and payers with assurance that their patients are safe and connected to the best resources. Kandu Health began offering its program with its first hospital partners in the greater Los Angeles and South New Jersey areas. Kandu Health is based in Campbell, Calif. https://kanduhealth.com.

Investor Contact

Matthew Garrett, CFO, Imperative Care, Inc.
mgarrett@imperativecare.com

Media Contact

Lara Lingenbrink
llingenbrink@imperativecare.com

More News

Kandu Health Announces Preliminary Clinical Outcomes for Stroke Survivors

CAMPBELL, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kandu Health, Inc., a digital health company that is changing the course of stroke recovery and post-acute care, today announced preliminary outcomes from the first 40 stroke survivors served by its program. Continue Reading Kandu Health Announces Preliminary Clinical Outcomes for Stroke Survivors

Three Senior Leadership Appointments for Kandu Health

Kirsten Carroll appointed CEO; Stefan Heuser named CFO and Clayton Duncan named SVP, Commercialization Continue Reading Three Senior Leadership Appointments for Kandu Health

Formation of Stroke Recovery Digital Health Company

Internationally renowned stroke treatment expert Dr. Tudor Jovin joins Kandu Health as Chief Medical Officer Continue Reading Formation of Stroke Recovery Digital Health Company

Kandu Health Announces Preliminary Clinical Outcomes for Stroke Survivors

Stroke survivor walking on a beach with a friend

News

Kandu Health Announces Preliminary Clinical Outcomes for Stroke Survivors

Initial results from a novel stroke recovery program demonstrate excellent achievement of functional independence and low hospital readmissions

July 31, 2023 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

CAMPBELL, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kandu Health, Inc., a digital health company that is changing the course of stroke recovery and post-acute care, today announced preliminary outcomes from the first 40 stroke survivors served by its program.

Preliminary data from the first 40 stroke survivors served by Kandu demonstrated excellent 90-day modified Rankin Scores (mRS), a measure used to assess the degree of disability in patients who have had a stroke. The data also indicate promising trends for low hospital readmissions and continuity of care for participants.

Kandu Health is working to fulfill an urgent need in healthcare by supporting stroke patients returning to community settings after hospital discharge from stroke. Through its team of expert clinically-licensed navigators, Kandu offers extensive tools and resources for optimized stroke recovery, as well as remote community support groups and an easy-to-use app. With goals to reduce hospital stays and readmissions, lower the cost of healthcare and improve patient outcomes, Kandu Health works closely with healthcare institutions to ensure that care is well integrated and coordinated with existing programming.

“We co-developed Kandu Health with stroke survivors and clinicians because we strongly believe that the holistic support a stroke survivor receives beyond acute hospitalization greatly influences health outcomes and recovery,” said Kirsten Carroll, CEO of Kandu Health, “Early on, we encountered skepticism as to whether this community could engage with an app-based platform, and whether we could make even a small difference in their outcomes. These preliminary results are gratifying, and exciting to share as we continue to build the body of evidence for this type of care.”

“These data suggest that providing extended support to patients beyond hospital discharge is critical to their recovery and can improve their chances of functional independence”

Functional Independence

Clinician-assessed mRS scores were captured at 90 days post-discharge for 95% of Kandu participants. Significant functional improvement was seen over time, with 84% achieving mRS scores of 0-2, indicating an ability to live independently, at 90 days – a meaningful improvement from the 60% of participants who were assessed as functionally independent at the time of enrollment. Nearly half of Kandu enrollees participated on their own, without a care partner.

“These data suggest that providing extended support to patients beyond hospital discharge is critical to their recovery and can improve their chances of functional independence,” said Dr. Shlee Song, Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Cedars-Sinai. “As clinicians, we can have a meaningful impact on the post-acute experience for our patients by connecting them with comprehensive support that focuses on mental health, managing impairments and community reintegration. This support can make all the difference for stroke survivors, enabling them to live independently and go grocery shopping, go to the bathroom, manage medications and perform other daily tasks that are important to their quality of life and sense of agency.”

Readmission Rates

The 30- and 90-day all-cause readmission rates for Kandu participants were 6% and 12%, respectively, which compare favorably to published benchmarks. Recent publications have reported unplanned readmission rates ranging from 8.7%-12.5% at 30-days and 18.9% to 20.7% at 90 days1,2.

Continuity of Care

These results also demonstrated that Kandu participants experienced positive continuity of care across a diverse population of enrollees who reflect the communities most affected by stroke. 10% of Kandu’s first 40 enrollees were Medicaid beneficiaries or uninsured at the time of their stroke, more than half were non-white and 20% had five or more needs related to social determinants of health. Despite these potential barriers to care, 90% of Kandu enrollees had a neurology follow-up within 90 days. Among the 15% of participants who did not have a primary care physician (PCP) prior to their stroke, Kandu navigators were able to assist 100% in establishing care with a PCP. Additionally, 27% of Kandu participants established care with a mental health provider for the first time.

“These outcomes build our confidence in a future state where stroke patients receive comprehensive and well-coordinated care beyond the hospital setting,” said Fred Khosravi, Imperative Care’s Chairman and CEO. “Today, many of these patients go home with little support, and far too often, this leads to suboptimal recovery, and further complications requiring additional hospitalization. Kandu Health offers a program that combines human care with technology, broadening access to care through remote clinical support. These early results indicate the promise for this approach to positively impact survivors’ daily lives while delivering tangible value to healthcare providers and health systems.”

Kandu Logo

Kandu Health is a commercial-stage Imperative Care company that provides tech-enabled healthcare services to people recovering from stroke. Kandu Health develops integrated solutions that aid in the stroke recovery process for stroke survivors, their providers, and care partners. Kandu Health provides hospital staff and payers with assurance that their patients are safe and connected to the best resources. Kandu Health began offering its program with its first hospital partners in the greater Los Angeles and South New Jersey areas. Kandu Health is based in Campbell, Calif.

Citations

  1. Ramchand P, et al. Readmissions After Mechanical Thrombectomy for Acute Ischemic Stroke in the United States: A Nationwide Analysis. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2018 Oct;27(10):2632-2640. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2018.05.035.
  2. Bushnell C, et al. Hospital Readmissions and Mortality Among Fee‐for‐Service Medicare Patients With Minor Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack: Findings From the COMPASS Cluster‐Randomized Pragmatic Trial. J Am Heart Assoc. 2021 Dec 7; 10(23): e023394. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.121.023394
  3. Zhang J, Gong Y, Zhao Y, Jiang N, Wang J, Yin X. Post-stroke medication adherence and persistence rates: a meta-analysis of observational studies. J Neurol. 2021;268(6):2090-2098. doi:10.1007/s00415-019-09660-y

Our Contacts

Investor Contact

Stefan Heuser, Kandu Health
mgarrett@imperativecare.com

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Jana Chow, Director of Communications
jchow@imperativecare.com

More News

Three Senior Leadership Appointments for Kandu Health

Kirsten Carroll appointed CEO; Stefan Heuser named CFO and Clayton Duncan named SVP, Commercialization Continue Reading Three Senior Leadership Appointments for Kandu Health

Formation of Stroke Recovery Digital Health Company

Internationally renowned stroke treatment expert Dr. Tudor Jovin joins Kandu Health as Chief Medical Officer Continue Reading Formation of Stroke Recovery Digital Health Company

Empowering Stroke Survivors: Interview with Kirsten Carroll, CEO at Kandu Health

Medgadget had the opportunity to speak with Kandu Health’s CEO Kirsten Carroll about the technology and concept. Continue Reading Empowering Stroke Survivors: Interview with Kirsten Carroll, CEO at Kandu Health

Is What I am Experiencing After My Stroke Normal?

Illustration of a woman sitting on a chair with colorful thought bubbles over her head
Illustration of a woman sitting on a chair with colorful thought bubbles over her head

Is What I am Experiencing After My Stroke Normal?

Although there are some common side effects and impairments after having a stroke it is important to recognize everyone’s experience is unique. You may have symptoms and impairments that other survivors do not have.

There are three major areas that stroke impacts:

Illustration of a stroke survivor with a cane and a hand brace walking

Physical Changes

Typically, physical changes can be traced to the location in your brain that was most impacted by your stroke. Depending on where the blood supply was affected in your brain you may experience some of the following physical changes:

  • weakness on one side of the body
  • vision changes
  • fatigue
  • difficulty swallowing
  • challenges moving around due to changes in balance and
  • coordination
  • too much muscle tone (spasticity) or too little muscle tone
  • (flaccidity), making them hard to move

Early rehabilitation can help you overcome some of your physical impairments. You can read more about what to expect related to recovery and rehabilitation here.

Illustration of a woman sitting on a chair with colorful thought bubbles over her head

Cognitive Changes

You may also have changes in how you think and process information. These changes may be referred to as cognitive changes and can include the following:

  • difficulty paying attention or concentrating
  • trouble problem-solving
  • difficulty remembering things
  • difficulty recognizing things
  • trouble understanding what someone said
  • challenges saying what you are thinking

Cognitive changes can be some of the most frustrating impairments after a stroke. It is important to recognize it is normal to be frustrated when you first discover you may be experiencing these challenges.

Illustration of a stroke survivor sitting on a bench and caregiver

Emotional Changes

Because stroke affects your brain, it can also affect how you experience emotions. Many survivors experience a range of feelings or emotions after a stroke. It is estimated that 60% of stroke survivors experience depression and 67% experience anxiety. Some feelings you may experience include:

  • stress
  • sadness or disappointment
  • frustration
  • irritability
  • carelessness
  • confusion
  • anger
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • grief

At Kandu, we understand the overwhelming nature of stroke and are experienced in supporting stroke survivors as they begin their recovery journey. Your Kandu Navigator can help you identify the symptoms you are experiencing, how to address them and assist you in determining next steps to support your recovery.

Kandu Health offers remote clinical support through our app, stroke survivor community and team of Kandu Navigators. We provide information, resources, and guidance for stroke survivors and their care partners.

Register Today!

Text or call us at 415-384-5623, dial extension 1.

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How Do I Reduce My Risk of a Second Stroke?

Illustration of sports shoes and weights
Illustration of sports shoes and weights

How Do I Reduce My Risk of a Second Stroke?

Having a stroke can be overwhelming. During your time in the hospital, you may be given a lot of information about reducing your risk of having another stroke.

So, how do you reduce your risk?

The best place to start is with recommendations from your healthcare team. If you are working with a Kandu Navigator they will assist you in creating a personal recovery plan and identifying resources and support to aid you in your recovery.

Your healthcare team may ask you to make changes to your lifestyle and your daily routine after your stroke. These changes can help keep your brain and body healthy. These changes might include:

Blood Pressure

Illustration of a heart monitor

Checking your blood pressure daily. At home blood pressure monitors are readily available.

Exercise

Illustration of sports shoes and weights

Exercising regularly. Walking three hours a week can lower your chances of a second stroke by up to 43% a recent Harvard Study.

Healthy Eating

Illustration of an apple, orange and greens

Adding nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats to your diet. Consider replacing partially hydrogenated cooking oils with avocado or olive oils, and reducing foods with added sugars.

“No” to Smoking

Illustration of a no-smoking sign

Saying “no” to smoking. Quitting smoking is tough. There are free programs that can help you. Freedom From Smoking® has helped hundreds of thousands of people quit for good and is now available in a variety of formats.

Limit Alcohol

Illustration of a alcohol

Limiting how much alcohol you drink. Drinking alcohol disrupts your sleep and good sleep. It is essential, it is when your body rests and repairs itself. Try limiting your alcohol late in the evening to start.

Manage Stress

Illustration of a hand and heart

Managing stress through a strong support system, community, and connections. Consider relaxation activities such as mindfulness, breathing exercises, yoga, or tai chi.

Kandu Health offers remote clinical support through our app, stroke survivor community and team of Kandu Navigators. We provide information, resources, and guidance for stroke survivors and their care partners.

Register Today!

Text or call us at 415-384-5623, dial extension 1.

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Signs of Stroke Related Infections

Illustration of a stroke survivor in a wheelchair suffering from discomfort in hes stomach
Illustration of a stroke survivor in a wheelchair suffering from discomfort in her stomach

Signs of Stroke Related Infections

Infection is common after a stroke and can lead to worse outcomes for the stroke survivor including sepsis and even death. Infections can occur as a result of stroke complications such as bladder control issues or swallowing issues or difficulty swallowing. They can also occur due to changes to the immune system after a stroke, making the body more susceptible to infections.

The three most common infections in the first few days and weeks after a stroke are:

If you are experiencing signs of infection, please contact your primary care physician immediately. If you are a participant in the Kandu Stroke Recovery Program, your navigator will assist you with an emergency plan to get the help you need.

Illustration of a stroke survivor in a wheelchair suffering from discomfort in his stomach

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) and Kidney Infections

Germs can build up in the bladder if urine (pee) is not being passed as frequently as necessary. Survivors with urinary retention, difficulty emptying their bladder, or limited mobility may have an increased risk of UTIs may have an increased risk of UTIs and kidney infections. Incontinence, or soiling oneself, is also very common after a stroke. Sitting in wet or soiled clothes for too long can allow germs to move up the urinary tract. This can also increase the risk of skin breakdown and infections.

Symptoms of UTIs and Kidney Infections include:

  • fever
  • pain in the abdomen or back
  • pain or burning with urination (peeing)
  • cloudy or smelly urine
  • needing to use the bathroom more frequently and urgently
  • unexplained delirium, confusion, or agitation.

If you are experiencing signs of infection, please contact your primary care physician immediately. If you are a participant in the Kandu Stroke Recovery Program, your navigator will assist you with an emergency plan to get the help you need.

Illustration of a stroke survivor feeling chest pain

Lung infections or pneumonia

Swallowing difficulties, like dysphagia, can cause fluid, foods, and your own saliva to go down the wrong way into the lungs instead of the stomach. This can lead to lung infections, such as pneumonia.

Pneumonia can cause many symptoms, including:

  • fever
  • chills
  • cough, often with phlegm
  • gurgling speech and/or frequent throat clearing
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • fatigue, and
  • muscle aches or pains

If you have pneumonia, you may require additional treatments. Talk to your healthcare team if you are experiencing any of these concerns.

It is important to follow any recommendations from the speech or occupational therapist around thickening liquids or mealtime strategies to reduce your risk of choking or lung infections. If you have concerns about swallowing and are not seen by a therapist, talk to your medical team about a swallowing evaluation.

Make sure that you closely monitor how well you are able to chew and swallow different foods. This can help reduce your risk of choking and infection.

Some tips for preventing a UTI include:

  • staying hydrated
  • wiping front to back after going to the bathroom
  • urinating after sex
  • using clean techniques to change catheters
  • avoiding the use of perfumed soap or other products on the genitals
  • checking the expiration dates of contraception and intravaginal devices
  • talking to the healthcare team about concerns related to your period or menopause
Illustration of a stroke survivor feeling pain in her joints

Skin infections or pressure sores

Skin infections can occur from remaining in wet or soiled clothing for too long. This may cause skin breakdown as well. You may not be able to move around as easily as you could before your stroke. This can cause you to remain in one position for too long, which may put pressure on your skin. Anticoagulation (“blood thinners”) can also contribute to breakdown.

Too much force on delicate areas of the skin can cause pressure sores or infections. Pressure sores are especially common on bony areas of the body. You can inspect your skin for signs of infection from head to toe including:

  • back of the head
  • shoulder blades
  • elbows
  • buttocks/lower back
  • bottom/”sits bones”
  • ankle bones (sides) and
  • heels.

If your skin is broken, you may require additional care or treatments. Check your skin regularly and report any concerns to your healthcare team.

If you are experiencing any signs of infection, please contact your primary care physician immediately. If you are a participant in the Kandu Stroke Recovery Program, your navigator will assist you with an emergency plan to get the help you need.

To reduce your risk of skin infections, consider:

  • trying to slightly change your position at least every 2 hours
  • changing out of wet clothes as soon as possible
  • using pressure-relieving products on the affected area, and
  • checking your skin daily for signs of redness, heat, and swelling.

Kandu Health offers remote clinical support through our app, stroke survivor community and team of Kandu Navigators. We provide information, resources, and guidance for stroke survivors and their care partners.

Register Today!

Text or call us at 415-384-5623, dial extension 1.

More Articles

How Do I know if I am Having a Second Stroke?

Illustration of a stroke survivor with glasses gesturing toward his eye
Illustration of a stroke survivor with glasses gesturing toward his eye

How Do I know if I am Having a Second Stroke?

About 1 in 4 people, 25% who have had a stroke will have another stroke*. It’s important to be able to identify the warning signs.

Citation

Sudha Seshadri, Alexa Beiser, Margaret Kelly-Hayes, Carlos S. Kase, Rhoda Au, William B. Kannel and Philip A. Wolf. Originally published 5 Jan 2006 https://doi.org/10.1161/01.STR.0000199613.38911.b2Stroke. 2006;37:345–350

!

Only a health professional can determine if you are having another stroke. If you are having a new stroke, every second matters. Call 9-1-1 and seek emergency care for a possible stroke if you experience the following symptoms:

BEFAST

Recognize the signs of a stroke

Balance

Illustration of a stroke survivor with a leg brace losing her balance

Sudden loss of balance

Is it suddenly hard to stand up and walk in a straight line without feeling like you might fall? Do you suddenly feel very dizzy?

Eyes

Illustration of a man with glasses pointing at his eyes

Sudden change in vision in one or both eyes

Is it suddenly very hard to see out of one eye? Do you have new double vision?

Face

Illustration of a woman moving her hand towards her face

The face droops on one side

Is your face drooping on one side, especially around your mouth?

Arm

Illustration of a stroke survivor in a wheelchair

New arm weakness or numbness on one side

Do you have a new weakness in your arm?

Speech

Illustration of a stroke survivor with an arm brace talking

New slurred or confused speech

Is your speech slurred or are you not making sense when you try to talk?

Time

Illustration of a woman with a pride flag pin on her top looking at her phone

It’s TIME to call 9-1-1

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms immediately call 911. Do not drive yourself or have someone drive you to the hospital. Time is important. An EMT can get you life-saving treatment the fastest.

Kandu Health offers remote clinical support through our app, stroke survivor community and team of Kandu Navigators. We provide information, resources, and guidance for stroke survivors and their care partners.

Register Today!

Text or call us at 415-384-5623, dial extension 1.

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How the Brain is Affected by Stroke

Illustration of a stroke survivor using a walker
Illustration of a stroke survivor using a walker

How the Brain is Affected by Stroke

During a stroke, disruption of the blood flow to the brain causes cell damage and death where the stroke occurred. to the brain causes cell damage and death where the stroke occurred. Neurological pathways between the brain and the body can become disconnected. This causes an interruption of the brain signal that controls certain areas of the body, mind, and emotions.

How recovery happens

Your brain controls your body’s nervous system. It is capable of reorganizing how it processes information after a stroke through neuroplasticity. This means parts of the brain that weren’t damaged during your stroke can make new pathways to improve your brain’s function over time.

Practice is the most important element when training a new part of the brain. New pathways are created over time with hundreds of repetitions. For example, if you want to open a water bottle, you may need to practice gripping small objects over and over, training your brain to do the components of the activity and then work on putting it all together.

Recovery times

Some research shows the brain has the best chance of rebuilding within the first three months after a stroke. Many survivors see the most progress when they start therapy early in the days and weeks following a stroke.

What recovery looks like

Recovery looks different for each person. Some stroke survivors may recover more quickly.

While some survivors may rebuild many of the abilities from before their stroke, other survivors will need to learn new strategies to accomplish certain tasks.

Kandu Health offers remote clinical support through our app, stroke survivor community and team of Kandu Navigators. We provide information, resources, and guidance for stroke survivors and their care partners.

Register Today!

Text or call us at 415-384-5623, dial extension 1.

More Articles