A stroke, sometimes referred to as a “brain attack,” occurs when a blood clot forms in an artery or blood vessel, or when a break in a blood vessel occurs, curbing blood flow to a part of the brain. A stroke results in the death of brain cells in the surrounding area. These cells usually die within minutes to a few hours after the stroke starts.
- Stroke Statistics – The Internet Stroke Center, Washington University School of Medicine
Types of Strokes
- Ischemic Stroke occurs when a blockage, usually a blood clot, exists. This form of blood clot is called a cerebral thrombus or cerebral embolism (the clot is formed elsewhere in the body, becomes dislodged, and travels to the brain. Ischemic Stroke accounts for about 80 percent of all cases in the U.S.
- Hemorrhagic stroke can occur as the result of a brain aneurysm, or an artery in the brain that has “ballooned” out. Other causes of a hemorrhagic stroke include malformed brain vessels, high blood pressure level resulting in a burst artery, use of drugs that cause rapid changes in blood pressure, and direct injury to the brain. Hemorrhagic stroke accounts for about 20 percent of stroke cases in the U.S., but often has severe consequences due to bleeding into the brain.
Learn To Recognize A Stroke
A stroke is a medical emergency and must be taken very seriously. Memorize and look for the following warning signs:
- Sudden onset of numbness or weakness of the leg, arm, or face. This is especially true if the numbness or weakness occurs on one side of the body but not the other.
- The person suddenly appears confused, has difficulty speaking or understanding what others are saying.
- The individual suddenly has trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- The person suddenly becomes dizzy, has trouble walking, or experiences a loss of balance or coordination.
- The individual suddenly experiences a severe headache with no known explanation.
- NINDS Stroke Information Page – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Stroke Information for Patients and Families – The Internet Stroke Center, Washington University School of Medicine
If a doctor has violated standards of care or established minimum requirements for competent treatment of stroke, he or she can be legally liable for the damage caused by the substandard medical care.
Below are some standards of care for medical professionals treating patients with stroke or high risk of stroke.
- Standards of care for the early management of patients who have just had a stroke include:
- Standards of care for children who suffer from a stroke can be found at the Child Neurology Statement: Recognition and Treatment of Stroke in Children.
Kaiser Permanente health organization guidelines for the prevention and treatment of stroke can be found at the Kaiser Permanente Clinical Practice Guidelines.
- Anatomy of a Brain Injury Lawsuit.
- CT Scans Showing Brain Damage Caused by a Surgeon.
- Brain Injury Lawsuits: Track Record of Patrick Malone & Associates, P.C.
Good medical care can often minimize or prevent a significant brain injury from one of these medical conditions. Or there can be other ways in which the brain injury could have been prevented. So a lawsuit can be appropriate in some circumstances, depending on what an investigation by a qualified lawyer finds.
The lawyers at Patrick Malone & Associates provide free and confidential consultations to help sort out your legal options.
Contact us online or call 202-742-1500 for a free case evaluation.
Remember that stroke is a “brain attack” that needs to be treated as aggressively and quickly as a heart attack. It’s a medical emergency. Sometimes we lay people can be our own worst enemies when we get new symptoms. We assume it will “go away.” We look for benign explanations for what is wrong. Don’t do that! Call 911 instead and get to the nearest hospital that offers stroke treatment. Read More…