How to Prevent and Identify a Stroke
A stroke will drastically change the life of the victim. Stroke victims often find themselves dealing with some very serious long-term conditions, such as:
- Impaired speech
- Loss of the use of extremities
- Cognitive impairment
- Increased risk for successive strokes
Causes of a Stroke
A stroke is caused by a disruption in the blood flow to the brain. The two most common types of strokes are ischemic strokes, resulting when the blood flow to the brain is blocked by a blood clot; and hemorrhagic strokes, resulting from a burst blood vessel in the brain. On many occasions, these major strokes are preceded by a small stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). Some of the key symptoms of a TIA include:
- transient slurred speech
- transient weakness in the face or extremities
- brief episodes of confusion
- transient visual disturbances
For many, these mini-strokes – these temporary losses of function – serve as a warning sign for an impending major stroke. Early recognition and proper treatment of a small stroke or TIA can prevent a major stroke, its serious long-term effects like those listed above, and even death.
Strokes and Medical Malpractice
When physicians fail to recognize and treat the symptoms of a TIA and the patient suffers a devastating stroke, they may have committed medical malpractice. However, medical malpractice in this area is not limited to the failure to diagnose a stroke – it also describes the failure to properly treat or prevent a stroke. For example, Coumadin, a blood thinning agent used by physicians to prevent blood clots, can actually result in severe brain hemorrhaging if improperly administered to a hemorrhagic stroke victim. Conversely, a patient may suffer an ischemic stroke if a physician fails to prescribe Coumadin or a similar medication to prevent blood clots from forming in certain situations. It is always wise to get a second opinion or consult with a medical malpractice attorney if you feel your doctor or hospital may have caused or failed to prevent your condition.