This is one blog in VSPC LAW’s series on understanding strokes. Read on to see answers to common questions people have after their loved one suffers a stroke.

Can the Brain Heal Itself After Stroke?

A stroke is an event that damages the brain cells, but thankfully, those brain cells are often not damaged beyond repair. That is, with proper care, the brain cells can regenerate (this is called neurogenesis). Repairing the brain cells often involves coordinated work by a team of professionals including neurologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech pathologists. These professionals can help retrain the patient’s brain to engage in the many activities the patient enjoyed before having the stroke.

What is Stroke Paralysis and How Can Someone Recover from Stroke Paralysis?

Paralysis is a loss of control or weakness of a muscle or a group of muscles. When the blood flow to the stroke victim’s brain is interrupted, the patient often suffers from “stroke paralysis.” This condition affects the opposite side where the brain is damaged. In other words, if a person suffers a stroke in the left side of the brain, the person will suffer from paralysis on the right side of their body. And if a person suffers a stroke in the right side of the brain, the person will have paralysis on the left side of their body.

Stroke paralysis recovery involves a stroke victim relearning skills that were lost when the brain was damaged by the stroke. Often the rehabilitation from stroke paralysis involves a carefully crafted program involving well-focused, repetitive practice. As with anyone learning a new skill, practice makes progress. Stroke paralysis recovery may involve relearning how to walk, talk, eat, go to the bathroom independently, and use utensils.

How Long Will It Take for My Loved One to Fully Recover from Stroke?

Recovering from a stroke can be a long and difficult process and ultimately many stroke victims never fully recover. And unfortunately, stroke is a leading cause of permanent disability in the United States. That said, it’s not inevitable that your loved one’s stroke will cause permanent disability.

Many factors affect a stroke victim’s ability to recovery quickly, including:

How Is My Loved One’s Ability to Recover from Stroke Related to Their Doctor’s Medical Mistakes?

A stroke is a medical emergency so prompt action is necessary to prevent serious injury. The sooner the healthcare professional diagnoses and treats stroke, the less severe the patient’s injuries will be. The converse is also true: the more delayed the diagnosis and treatment of stroke, the more severe the patient’s injuries likely will be.

What Should I Do After My Loved One Suffered a Stroke?

If your loved one suffered a stroke and you think it’s possible that a healthcare professional failed to make a timely diagnosis of their stroke, the stroke could be the result of medical malpractice. The hospital, doctor, nurse, healthcare professional, staff, and/or colleagues could be held legally responsible for your loved one’s injuries related to their medical negligence.

If you believe there was a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of your loved one’s stroke, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss whether you have the right to sue on your loved one’s behalf. Remember, you may only have two years from the date of your loved one’s stroke to initiate a civil action, so you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the stroke.

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

This is one blog in VSPC LAW’s series on understanding strokes. Read on to learn more about the dangers of delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis of stroke.

What is a stroke?

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

How can you prevent serious injury from stroke?

A stroke is a medical emergency so prompt action is necessary to prevent serious injury. In fact, early, timely treatment can avoid or reduce brain damage and other serious complications.

What is Delayed Diagnosis of Stroke?

As mentioned, it’s imperative to take early action when a person shows signs of stroke. If the healthcare professional fails to recognize signs of stroke or for any reason delays treatment, the person could suffer otherwise preventable injuries.

A delayed diagnosis of stroke is when the healthcare professional fails to spot the signs of stroke and thus fails to treat the stroke victim with the required urgency. Again, a stroke is when blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced. A healthcare professional should understand the signs of stroke so as to diagnose it in a timely fashion. Doing so will enable that professional to help restore blood flow to the brain. Failure to do so will lead to oxygen and nutrient deprivation in the brain, which can lead to brain damage, disability, and even death.

If a healthcare professional delays diagnosis of stroke, thereby delaying or withholding life saving treatment and disability-preventing treatment, they could be held responsible for medical malpractice.

What is Misdiagnosis of Stroke?

A misdiagnosis of stroke is when the healthcare professional fails to spot the signs of stroke and diagnoses the patient’s condition as something other than stroke. Often healthcare professionals will misdiagnose a stroke as simple gait disturbance, metabolic disorder, seizure, migraine, low blood pressure, dementia, dizziness, dehydration, and other disorders that may share some of the same general symptoms of stroke.

As mentioned in this blog post about preventing strokes, there are several measures healthcare staff can take to determine if a patient is suffering from a stroke, including physical exams, CT scan, MRI scan, etc. Failure to do the correct assessment and/or the correct radiology thus misdiagnosing stroke is a serious medical mistake that results in the stroke patient being denied the urgent lifesaving and disability-preventing treatment they need. Failure to properly diagnose stroke will lead to oxygen and nutrient deprivation in the brain, which can lead to brain damage, disability, and even death.

What Should I Do if I Believe There Was a Delay in Diagnosis or a Misdiagnosis of a Loved One’s Stroke?

A healthcare professional’s delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of stroke could be the result of medical malpractice. The hospital, healthcare professional, doctor, nurse, and/or staff could be held legally responsible for your loved one’s injuries related to their medical negligence.

If you believe there was a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of your loved one’s stroke, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss whether you have the right to sue on your loved one’s behalf for the necessary compensation required to care for your loved one for the rest of his or her life.

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

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.

Understanding The Common Causes Of Strokes

Strokes are one of the most common illnesses impacting older adults and result in thousands of deaths each year. Sadly, many strokes are preventable. Understanding common stroke risk factors can help you make informed decisions about your lifestyle to prevent strokes.
This is part of a series of blogs discussing stroke awareness presented by VSCP LAW.

What Is A Stroke?

A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, happens when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced. With a lack of oxygen to the brain, brain tissue cannot get the necessary oxygen and nutrients to survive and repair itself.  As a result, strokes can lead to brain damage, disability, and even death.

What Are Common Causes Of Strokes?

Generally, there are two leading causes of strokes: blocked arteries or burst blood vessels. However, doctors may classify a stroke as one of three different types.

  1. Ischemic Stroke. This is the most common type of stroke. When the brain’s blood vessels become narrowed or blocked, the blockage results in reduced blood flow (“ischemia”) to the brain.
  2. Hemorrhagic Stroke. This 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). Sometimes referred to as a mini-stroke, a TIA occurs when there is blocked blood flow to the brain for a short time (usually less than five minutes). 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. 

Common Stroke Risk Factors

Strokes are diverse, and several different risk factors may cause a stroke. Common stroke risk factors include:

Can I Lower My Stroke Risk Factors?

Although not all strokes are preventable, you can attempt to reduce your risk of stroke.
Simple lifestyle changes may mitigate and eliminate a majority of the common causes of stroke in your life. These changes include:

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. Those 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, which is one of the common causes of stroke. Statins are an example of cholesterol-lowering medicine.

Anti-hypertensives. High blood pressure is one of the most significant stroke risk factors. 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.

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.

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