TIMELINE FOR STROKE DEVELOPMENTS
Blood was seen to be one of the four ‘humours’ vital for life, and apoplexy believed to be caused by an interruption (or obstruction) of that humour to the brain.
A common form of treatment for apoplexy was ‘blood-letting’ – extracting sufficient volumes to alleviate pressure on the organs.
The prognosis for Apoplexy was pessimistic. Patients were expected to either die, improve unaided or linger on in misery.
As the eighteenth century progressed the theory of blood pressure was gradually accepted. This influenced the rationale for the practice of bloodletting as a way of reducing pressure in the blood.