To those who see strokes, could you help me better understand?


Hi neuro Nurses! I'm an Ltc/hospice LPN wondering if you please could shead some light as to what's going on & give pointers with ischemic strokes, since I'm not an expert?

My 95 year old grandmother had one this past August. To try to make a long story short, she has been in the hospital since late August in neuro icu & is currently still there in a step down.It has been a steady decline in her condition between earlier in admission she would have normal stroke periods of lots of deep sleep & random energy bursts of being awake & eating.

Around Labor Day weekend this pattern has stopped & she went into coma like state, pain stimuli didn't work. She stopped eating & anything near her mouth including a wet sponge she will lock her mouth tight. At this point, the doctor d/c all her reg meds, which were mainly for a-fib & htn.From that point on, a palliative doc overtook her care.

About three weeks ago she started to show the classic s&s of actively dying & her pupils are dilated & non reactive, so we think she could have had another stroke? She was put on morphine/Ativan for discomfort/ rapid breathing. During these last 3 weeks her respiration's have been all over the place. The lowest being 2-4,4-6 next day back to 10-12?! No, I'm not joking on that one.

Sorry so long folks, I'm just very confused as to what's going with my grandma. I guess it bothers me that she is lingering in an unpleasant state. It has been very difficult for my mom.

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 8 years experience.

All I will say is that given the description given, there's likely very little, if any, remaining function above the brainstem. As long as that still works and the body receives appropriate nourshment, the body can go on for quite a while, but it doesn't mean that grandma is still "there".

Editorial Team / Admin

Silverdragon102, BSN

1 Article; 39,477 Posts

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 35 years experience.

I am sorry you are going through this however as this is related to family it comes under the remit of asking medical advice which is not allowed under the Terms of Service of the site.

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