Ischemia occurs when there is a limited supply of blood to the cellular tissues in the body (Lewis, 2008:1). The short blood supply restricts the amount of oxygen required for metabolic activities in the cellular tissues. Three major biochemical components that cause the condition include hypoxia, metabolic waste accumulation and the insufficiency of metabolic substrates. Ischemia, therefore, results from damages or dysfunctions within the blood vessels. The nursing intervention of ischemia mostly involves relieving pain in the affected area and improvement of vessel functions so that major amputations can be avoided (Laoire&Murtagh, 2017: 907). Nursing treatment furthermore involves healing of ulcers and improving the patient’s quality of life. Patients undergo therapies and exercises that help in improving blood flow and limiting the use of damaged tissues (Laoire&Murtagh, 2017: 907).

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The conditions that cause vascular inefficiency leading to ischemia include torsion, compression, embolism, thrombosis, and atherosclerosis (Lewis, 2008:3). An ischemic stroke is therefore caused by the abrupt loss of blood supply on a spot of the brain (Federau & Wintermark, 2017). Ischemic stroke is a result of either a thrombotic or an embolic obstruction of a cerebral artery. These two causes form the two types of ischemic stroke. A thrombotic stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks damaged cerebral arteries in the brain. An embolic stroke, on the other hand, is caused by a blood clot in the artery found in a different body part of the brain.

The signs and symptoms of ischemic stroke include; diplopia, hemisensory deficits, facial droop, ataxia, aphasia, vertigo, an abrupt decrease in the level of consciousness and a sudden onset of monoparesis and hemiparesis. The nursing intervention of the condition mostly includes management of the airway, reduction of fever and control of the blood pressure. Nursing care may furthermore include assistance during therapies such as antiplatelet agents’ therapy and mechanical thrombectomy. Patients with ischemic stroke also run the risk of getting complications such as venous thromboembolism, epileptic seizures, hemorrhagic change of the infarct and depression.

  • Federau, C. and Wintermark, M., 2017. CT, CT-Angiography, and Perfusion-CT Evaluation of Stroke. In Primer on Cerebrovascular Diseases (Second Edition) (pp. 686-694).
  • Laoire, Á.N. and Murtagh, F.E., 2017. Systematic review of pharmacological therapies for the management of ischaemic pain in patients with non-reconstructable critical limb ischemia. BMJ supportive& palliative care, pp.bmjspcare-2017
  • Lewis. S.L (2008). Medical-Surgical Nursing (7th ed.). Vascular disorder. Pp. 907–908.