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How to Measure the Severity of a Stroke

By Nancy Delwaide, 8:00 am on

After a senior loved one experiences a stroke, family members are often concerned about the effects the stroke will have on their loved one’s quality of life. Although there is no way to predict the outcomes of a stroke with one hundred percent accuracy, there are ways in which medical professionals can measure the severity of a stroke so the proper assistance and in-home care is provided.

The National Institutes of Health developed a stroke scale based upon a scoring system. This scale is commonly used by medical professionals to assess the severity of a stroke.

  • 0 (No stroke symptoms)
  • 0-4 (Minor stroke)
  • 5-15 (Moderate stroke)
  • 16-20 (Moderate to severe stroke)
  • 21-42 (Severe stroke)

The stroke scale consists of eleven categories that are assessed and listed below. The point scale for each category is 0-4. The maximum amount of points received for the eleven categories is 42. Patients who are assessed with higher points are categorized as having severe strokes.

  • Level of consciousness
  • Horizontal eye movement
  • Visual field test
  • Facial palsy
  • Motor skills (arm)
  • Motor skills (leg)
  • Limb Ataxia
  • Sensory
  • Language
  • Speech
  • Extinction and Inattention

The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale provides medical professionals with the assessment tools needed to devise an effective health care strategy for stroke survivors. Although this stroke scale serves as an accurate measurement tool to predict patient outcomes, it is important to remember that all patients are different. Some patients have the ability to improve in spite of the severity of the stroke.

If your senior parent or relative has experienced a stroke, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a premier provider of in-home stroke care in Oakville, ON. We offer complimentary, no-obligation consultations where you can ask questions and learn more about our trained caregivers, flexible care plans, and 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call (905) 337-1200 today!