Words fail to describe the terror of witnessing a loved one having a stroke. They come on without warning. If you don’t recognize the signs, you could lose precious minutes that might significantly decrease the chances of a positive recovery.
But how do you identify the signs of a stroke, and what can happen if secondary strokes come while someone is in the hospital?
When it comes to identifying a stroke, remember F.A.S.T. that stands for:
- Face drooping and facial numbness?
- Arm weakness or immobility?
- Speech slurred?
- Time to call 911!
A stroke can happen without warning and can even happen while someone is sleeping. If you or a loved one is at a high risk of experiencing a stroke, it is important to memorize these symptoms and take action the moment you suspect something is wrong.
That said, because strokes are unpredictable, there’s no specific way to know when they’re coming. The only thing you can do is be prepared if you live with someone who is at high risk. Generally speaking, someone who meets the following criteria is at the highest risk of having a stroke:
- Over 55 years old
- African American
Unfortunately, medical staff sometimes fail to recognize a stroke in a timely manner, even when it happens at the hospital. Worst of all, there’s evidence that the people most likely to be impacted by a stroke are also the least likely to be taken seriously at the hospital.
Every Minute Matters
A stroke is a blood clot or burst blood vessel leading to the brain. The longer the brain is deprived of oxygen, the greater the risk of permanent damage. That means someone having a stroke needs immediate treatment, and the treatment needs to be as accurate as possible.
For example, if anti-clotting medications fail, doctors may need to go in through the arteries to remove the clot. However, if they haven’t accurately identified the clot’s location or mapped a path from the artery to the clot, they could lose valuable time that significantly increases the risk of long-term or even fatal complications.
Similarly, stroke victims sometimes experience “mini-strokes” in the hospital. If nursing staff aren’t quick to identify these as soon as they occur and administer anti-clotting medication, it could cause significant complications in the patient’s recovery.
To schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorney from The Mabrey Firm, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (404) 814-5098 or send us an email.