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Stroke - Recognize the Signs and Act in Time

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in adults. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), there are approximately 600,000 new strokes reported each year in the U.S. Since a stroke is a medical emergency, recognizing the symptoms, getting to the hospital as quickly as possible, and receiving proper medical treatment in a timely manner could mean the difference between life and death.

What is a Stroke?

When you have a stroke, your brain isn’t getting the blood it needs. Brain cells in the area where the stroke occurred begin to die because they stop getting the oxygen and nutrients they need to function. The sooner you get proper medical treatment, the less likely you’ll have serious, lasting problems.

What Types of Disabilities Can a Stroke Cause?

In addition to causing death, strokes can affect the entire body. Resulting disabilities may include paralysis, cognitive issues, speech difficulties and emotional problems. These disabilities may range from mild to severe in nature.

How Do You Recognize the Signs?

These symptoms of a stroke usually happen very quickly:

  • Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body)
  • Confusion or trouble understanding other people
  • Trouble speaking
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Trouble with balance (walking and coordination)
  • Dizziness
  • Severe Headache that comes on for no reason

The FAST test is a quick way to check for these signs:

  • Face: Smile! (Is one side of the face drooping?)
  • Arms: Raise both arms. (Is one arm higher than the other or is it difficult to hold up?)
  • Speech: Repeat a short, simple sentence. (Is there a slurring of words or are they difficult to understand?)
  • Time: If any of the above are “yes”, call 911.

Why is Time of the Essence?

Stroke is a medical emergency. Every minute counts. The longer blood flow is cut off to the brain, the greater the damage. Immediate and proper medical treatment is imperative to save lives and maximize the chances of recovery.

Sometimes strokes can actually be prevented if swift and proper medical treatment is given as soon as the warning signs appear. In these situations, a neurologist needs to be involved in the patient’s care as quickly as possible. The patient should also be given intravenous blood thinners to prevent the actual stroke. If strokes can be prevented before they actually occur, the patient stands the best chance of recovery.

The Mabrey Firm, P.C. successfully handles medical malpractice cases arising from the failure to properly diagnose and treat stroke symptoms. We have obtained significant recoveries for our clients, including a $6.9 million jury award for the widow of a 41 year old man who died of a stroke in a hospital where he’d gone to be evaluated for stroke symptoms.

If you or someone you love have suffered injuries as a result of a medical team’s failure to properly diagnose and treat your stroke symptoms, contact us today to schedule your free consultation.