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When you witness someone showing the signs of having a stroke, it’s essential to act fast to get them medical attention.

This is one blog in VSPC LAW’s series on understanding strokes. Read on to learn more about the signs of having a stroke and common stroke causes Main causes and risk factors of stroke

What Is A Stroke?

A stroke happens when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced. When this happens, brain tissue cannot get the necessary oxygen and nutrients. Strokes can lead to permanent brain damage, disability, and even death.

Different Types Of Strokes

At the first signs of having a stroke, getting the person having a stroke in to see a doctor is crucial. Once there, they may diagnose your stroke as one of the following types:

  1. Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke. It occurs when the brain’s blood vessels become narrowed or blocked—the blockage results in reduced blood flow (“ischemia”) to the brain.
  2. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in your brain leaks or ruptures. The blood continues to increase and ultimately compresses the surrounding brain tissue. Hemorrhagic strokes occur either within the brain (intracerebral) or in the space between your brain and the surrounding membrane (subarachnoid).
  3. Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) is sometimes referred to as a mini-stroke. TIA occurs when there is blocked blood flow to the brain for a short time. TIAs present with the same warning signs as an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, so it’s imperative to seek immediate medical attention if those warning signs are present. Also, if someone has a TIA, that increases the likelihood of having a stroke in the future.

How Can You Prevent Serious Injury From Stroke?

A stroke is a medical emergency, so prompt action is necessary to prevent permanent injury. Early, timely treatment can reduce brain damage and other complications. Knowing the warning signs of strokes, as well as the common causes of strokes, increases your chances of getting early treatment and warding off serious injury.

What Are The Signs Of Having A Stroke?

It’s essential to understand the warning signs of stroke so you can act quickly. The following acronym is helpful for quick reference:

F = Face droop. Ask the person to smile. If one side droops, the person could be having a stroke.
A = Arm weakness. If the person cannot raise both arms to the same height, that could be a sign of stroke.
S = Speech difficulty. Can the person repeat a simple sentence? If any of the words are slurred or hard to understand, they could be experiencing a stroke.
T = Time to call 9-1-1. If any of the above signs are present, it’s time to call an ambulance. The person can receive timely medical assistance on the way to the hospital.
See this fact sheet for further information on the warning signs of stroke.

If you believe a loved one has suffered a stroke resulting from a health care provider’s actions or inactions, contact VSCP LAW at vscplaw.com.

VSCP LAW handles many cases involving strokes, delayed diagnosis of strokes, and medical malpractice related to strokes. To reduce the risk of strokes, the first step is to spread awareness about stroke prevention.

This blog marks the first in our series of stroke awareness blogs.

What Is A Stroke?

A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, happens when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced. When this happens, brain tissue cannot get the necessary oxygen and nutrients. Because of this, strokes can lead to brain damage, disability, and even death.

How To Reduce Risk Of Strokes

The following are lifestyle changes anyone can make to reduce the risk of stroke:

Eat more plant-based foods.
Saturated fats, trans fat, salt, and cholesterol (found in animal-based foods) are definitively linked to strokes and stroke-related conditions. Fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, carry essential minerals, nutrients, and fiber; they are also low in fat.
Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet will help lower your risk of stroke. Diets that are high in salt (sodium) increase the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Try cutting salt from your diet by reducing your intake of processed or fast food for stroke prevention. Animal fats increase your cholesterol levels, so swap in healthy proteins such as nuts, lentils, tofu, and beans for pork, beef, and chicken. 

Engage in regular exercise.
Exercise – in particular, cardiovascular exercise –reduces your chance of stroke because it lowers blood pressure. It also may reduce the risk of stroke-contributing factors such as obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Control hypertension (high blood pressure).
People with high blood pressure are at an increased risk of stroke. Eating healthful diets, lowering salt intake, engaging in regular exercise, and quitting smoking can help you control high blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.

Quit smoking.
Smokers are more likely to suffer from strokes than non-smokers. When you inhale cigarette smoke, you breathe in carbon monoxide, which reduces the oxygen in your system, and nicotine, which causes your heart to beat faster. This leads to raised blood pressure, a leading cause of strokes. Quitting smoking is an excellent way to practice stroke prevention.

Reduce alcohol consumption.
Alcohol consumption can lead to increased blood pressure and damage the liver. Preventing liver damage and keeping blood pressure at a healthy rate are both excellent stroke prevention steps.

Treat sleep apnea.
People with sleep apnea are at higher risk of stroke. If you suffer from sleep apnea and natural remedies such as a healthy diet and regular exercise don’t help, consult a physician. There are oral appliances and positive airway pressure machines (like a CPAP) that can help combat sleep apnea.

Manage diabetes.
Having diabetes means you have too much sugar in your blood, damaging your blood vessels over time. Excess sugar in your blood can make the blood vessels stiff and cause a build-up of fatty deposits. Diabetes treatment options will depend upon what kind of diabetes you have. Work with your healthcare provider to create an effective plan for managing your diabetes.

Avoid illegal drugs.
Illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines can cause rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, inadequate respiration, low oxygen, and blood vessel spasms. Avoid any consumption of illegal drugs because even low to moderate illegal drug use could lead to stroke. Stroke prevention starts with a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

What Medications Can I Take To Prevent Stroke?

If you’ve had a TIA or are at high risk of stroke due to health complications, your doctor may prescribe you medication to reduce the chance of suffering a stroke. Stroke prevention medications include:

Cholesterol-lowering medications.
High cholesterol can lead to fatty build-up in the artery walls that narrows or blocks the artery to the brain, causing a stroke. Statins are an example of cholesterol-lowering medicine.

Anti-hypertensives.
High blood pressure is the most significant risk factor for stroke because if your blood pressure is too high, your arteries can thicken over time. They become weaker, less flexible, and then become more prone to blood clots. Lower blood pressure may reduce the risk of strokes.

Antiplatelet drugs.
Platelets are cells in your blood that form blood clots. Antiplatelet drugs make these cells less sticky and therefore less likely to clot. Aspirin is an example of an antiplatelet drug.   

Anticoagulants.
These drugs thin out the blood and reduce blood clotting. 

Why Might My Stroke Prevention Have Failed?

Sometimes, even practicing stroke prevention doesn’t always prevent strokes. Urgent medical care is required to prevent permanent injuries. Emergency room staff may perform any of the following to determine whether you’re suffering from stroke and what kind of stroke:

DIAGNOSIS OF STROKE:

Again, time is of the essence. Once the healthcare staff has determined that you are suffering from a stroke and whether your stroke is caused by a blood clot (ischemic stroke) or brain bleed (hemorrhagic stroke), they must immediately begin interventions to prevent permanent injuries. These include:

TREATMENT FOR ISCHEMIC STROKE

TREATMENT FOR HEMORRHAGIC STROKE

If you believe a loved one has suffered from injuries from a stroke as the result of a health care provider’s actions or inactions, contact VSCP LAW at www.vscplaw.com.

What Is A Birth Injury?

Birth injury is one of the most common types of devastating and permanent injuries. Almost one in every 9,000 people born worldwide will suffer a birth injury.  Many people born with a birth injury experience lifelong consequences due to their injuries.

A birth injury is any injury caused during birth and/or during the labor process.  In many instances, medical providers who have taken a sworn oath to provide the best medical care possible to mothers and their children are unfortunately at fault and cause birth injuries.  Understanding birth injuries and their medical consequences help parents get early treatment for their children and seek necessary compensation in the event of medical malpractice.

Types Of Birth Injury

As well as being a very prevalent injury worldwide, a birth injury is also nuanced and complex and can often be due to medical malpractice.

Birth injuries are sometimes preceded by long labor times with signs of the baby in distress, issues with the umbilical cord, or abnormal positioning of the baby after the start of labor. 

The failure of doctors and/or nursing staff to notice these or other issues during labor (or their willingness to ignore these issues) may constitute malpractice, and they often lead to long-term health issues for the baby.

Birth injuries can cause:

Additionally, children suffering from birth injuries also experience serious developmental delays. A developmental delay is classified as any delay of typical developmental milestones, such as speech, language, muscle development, movement or cognitive issues. Birth injuries are often a contributing factor to developmental delays.

What Should I Do If My Child Experiences Developmental Delays Or My Child Is Not Meeting Development Milestones?

The most important thing to do if your child has developmental delays due to a birth injury is to seek an early diagnosis and obtain early intervention as soon as possible. Talk to a specialist (such as a pediatric neurologist and/or counselors at an early childhood center with specialists in intellectual and developmental delays) who can look further into the reasons why your child may be experiencing milestone delays. 

If you suspect that your child’s developmental delay is due to a birth injury-related cause, also seek help from an experienced legal team like the partners at VSCP LAW who will work with their team of medical experts to investigate the true cause of your child’s condition. They will be able to determine whether or not your child’s birth injury is prosecutable. If your legal team finds you have a case, they will walk you through the process of filing a lawsuit. 

Why Should I File A Birth Injury Claim?

Birth injuries and the conditions they cause can be very financially, physically and emotionally draining on both children and their families. Winning a birth injury lawsuit can make a substantial financial difference to families impacted by birth injuries, including the quality of treatment your child gets and his/her quality of life.

Most importantly, birth injury claims help hold medical professionals accountable for their actions and inactions. Filing a claim could make a difference in the lives of other children in the future.

To learn more about filing a birth injury claim with VSCP LAW, contact the lawyers at VSCP LAW 24/7 via text, email or phone.  The lawyers at VSCP LAW have partnered with a winning team of medical experts to investigate birth injury claims immediately and determine whether you have an actionable case.