What exactly is a stroke? As the third leading cause of death in the country, people need to be aware of the risks and the warning signs.
Strokes rank number three in the leading causes of death in the U.S. Every year, it is estimated that 140,000 die and even more are left with long-term injuries. Of the 795,000 people who have a stroke every year, for 600,000 of these victims it was a first occurrence. For 185,000 people, it was not the first time they had a stroke. Most of the victims of strokes are over the age of 65. In fact, it is estimated that at least three-quarters of stroke victims are 65 or older. Once someone has reached the age of 55, the chances that they will suffer from a stroke double with every subsequent decade.
A stroke can be defined as a blood vessel in the brain that either bursts or is blocked. The brain needs blood and oxygen to function and when the blood supply is interrupted, brain damage can occur. The portion of the brain that is not receiving adequate oxygen can begin to die. These damaged brain cells may be permanently injured and cause different types of disabilities. Brain damage can actually occur within a matter of minutes so immediate diagnosis and treatment is crucial. This is why negligence on the part of the doctor is so serious. If they overlook symptoms and do not take immediate action, the patient could be left with a permanent disability.
How do you know if you are suffering from a stroke? What are the symptoms that the doctor should be on the lookout for? First of all, the stroke victim may experience a sudden and intense headache. They may also suddenly have trouble with walking or balancing and may suffer from changes in speaking and seeing. Other victims lose feeling or the ability to move in parts of their body or an entire side of their body. If you or a loved one has suffered from any of the symptoms, immediate medical attention is necessary. Doctors need to take these warning signs seriously and being to test for a stroke.
It is important to remember that there are two different types of strokes, ischemic and hemorrhagic. An Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel is blocked by a blood clot. This is by far the most common type of stroke, with eight out of every ten strokes ending up as being caused by a blood clot. The clot could have formed in the vessel, or formed somewhere else in the body and traveled to the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke may not be as common, but it is far more deadly. This occurs when the blood vessel bursts or begins to leak into the brain. If your doctor failed to provide you with reasonable care in a case of a stroke, you could have a medical malpractice case. By contacting an attorney, you could learn if you are entitled to compensation.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.