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Stroke - discharge

Cerebrovascular disease - discharge; CVA - discharge; Cerebral infarction - discharge; Cerebral hemorrhage - discharge; Ischemic stroke - discharge; Stroke - ischemic - discharge; Stroke secondary to atrial fibrillation - discharge; Cardioembolic stroke - discharge; Brain bleeding - discharge; Brain hemorrhage - discharge; Stroke - hemorrhagic - discharge; Hemorrhagic cerebrovascular disease - discharge; Cerebrovascular accident - discharge

You were in the hospital after having a stroke. Stroke happens when blood flow to part of the brain stops.

At home follow your health care provider's instructions on self-care. Use the information below as a reminder.


Intracerebral hemorrhage

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When You're in the Hospital

First, you received treatment to prevent further damage to the brain, and to help the heart, lungs, and other important organs heal.

After you were stable, doctors did testing and started treatment to help you recover from the stroke and prevent a future stroke. You may have stayed in a special unit that helps people recover after a stroke.

What to Expect at Home

Because of possible injury to the brain from the stroke, you may notice problems with:

You may need help with daily activities you used to do alone before the stroke.

Depression after a stroke is fairly common as you learn to live with the changes. It may develop soon after the stroke or up to 2 years after the stroke.

Do not drive your car without your provider's permission.

Moving Around

Moving around and doing normal tasks may be hard after a stroke.

Make sure your home is safe. Ask your provider, therapist, or nurse about making changes in your home to make it easier to do everyday activities.

Find out about what you can do to prevent falls and keep your bathroom safe to use.

Family and caregivers may need to help with:

If you or your loved one is using a wheelchair, follow-up visits to make sure it fits well are important to prevent skin ulcers.

Thinking and Speaking

Tips for making clothing easier to put on and take off are:

People who have had a stroke may have speech or language problems. Tips for family and caregivers to improve communication include:

Bowel Care

Nerves that help the bowels work smoothly can be damaged after a stroke. Have a routine. Once you find a bowel routine that works, stick to it:

Avoid constipation:

Ask your provider about medicines you are taking that may cause constipation (such as medicines for depression, pain, bladder control, and muscle spasms).

Tips for Taking Medicines

Have all of your prescriptions filled before you go home. It is very important that you take your medicines the way your provider told you to. Do not take any other drugs, supplements, vitamins, or herbs without asking your provider about them first.

You may be given one or more of the following medicines. These are meant to control your blood pressure or cholesterol, and to keep your blood from clotting. They may help prevent another stroke:

Do not stop taking any of these medicines.

If you are taking a blood thinner, such as warfarin (Coumadin), you may need to have extra blood tests done.

Staying Healthy

If you have problems with swallowing, you must learn to follow a special diet that makes eating safer. The signs of swallowing problems are choking or coughing when eating. Learn tips to make feeding and swallowing easier and safer.

Avoid salty and fatty foods and stay away from fast food restaurants to make your heart and blood vessels healthier.

Limit how much alcohol you drink to a maximum of 1 drink a day if you are a woman and 2 drinks a day if you are a man. Ask your provider if it is OK for you to drink alcohol.

Keep up to date with your vaccinations. Get a flu shot every year. Ask your provider if you need a vaccination to prevent pneumococcal infections (sometimes called a "pneumonia shot").

Do not smoke. Ask your provider for help quitting if you need to. Do not let anybody smoke in your home.

Try to stay away from stressful situations. If you feel stressed all the time or feel very sad, talk with your provider.

If you feel sad or depressed at times, talk to family or friends about this. Ask your provider about seeking professional help.

When to Call the Doctor

Contact your provider if you have:

Call 911 or the local emergency number if the following symptoms develop suddenly or are new:

Related Information

Carotid artery surgery - open
Brain surgery
Brain aneurysm repair
High blood cholesterol levels
Transient ischemic attack
Tips on how to quit smoking
Recovering after stroke
Communicating with someone with aphasia
Dementia and driving
Dementia - behavior and sleep problems
Dementia - daily care
Dementia - keeping safe in the home
Communicating with someone with dysarthria
Preventing falls
Caring for muscle spasticity or spasms
Swallowing problems
ACE inhibitors
Antiplatelet drugs - P2Y12 inhibitors
Controlling your high blood pressure
Brain surgery - discharge
Daily bowel care program
Bathroom safety for adults
Aspirin and heart disease
Butter, margarine, and cooking oils
Cholesterol and lifestyle
Dietary fats explained
Fast food tips
Low-salt diet
Mediterranean diet
Constipation - self-care
When you have urinary incontinence
Kegel exercises - self-care
Urine drainage bags
Self catheterization - male
Self catheterization - female
Suprapubic catheter care
Preventing pressure ulcers
Gastrostomy feeding tube - bolus
Jejunostomy feeding tube
Constipation - what to ask your doctor
Dementia - what to ask your doctor
Pressure ulcers - what to ask your doctor
Preventing falls - what to ask your doctor
Cholesterol - drug treatment


Dobkin BH. Rehabilitation and recovery of the patient with stroke. In: Grotta JC, Albers GW, Broderick JP, et al, eds. Stroke: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 60.

Kernan WN, Ovbiagele B, Black HR, et al. Guidelines for the prevention of stroke in patients with stroke and transient ischemic attack: a guideline for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2014;45(7):2160-2236. PMID: 24788967

National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Post-stroke rehabilitation fact sheet. Updated July 25, 2022. Accessed September 29, 2022.

Winstein CJ, Stein J, Arena R, et al. Guidelines for adult stroke rehabilitation and recovery: a guideline for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2016;47(6):e98-e169. PMID: 27145936


Review Date: 7/26/2022  

Reviewed By: Evelyn O. Berman, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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