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


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:

  • Age (younger stroke patients tend to have greater recovery rates than older patients)
  • Timing of the rehabilitation (the sooner rehabilitation starts, the greater recovery)
  • The severity of damage to the brain
  • The intensity and duration of the rehabilitation program
  • The presence of concurrent medical problems
  • Cooperation of family, friends and healthcare providers

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.

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