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Episode 60: The Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke

You can make a difference and even save a life, if you now the signs and symptoms of a stroke. 

The anacronym FAST alerts the public to the frequent signs and symptoms of a stroke  The letters stand for: 

Facial Drooping;

Arm Weakness;

Speech Difficulty;

Time to call for assistance.

A stroke occurs when the supply of oxygen to the brain is cut off or reduced.

An ischemic stroke results from an obstruction, such as a blood clot.

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when broken blood vessels cause blood to leak into the brain.

Sometimes, strokes can occur from a blood vessel in the neck damaged from trauma, causing a clot to form that travels to the brain. This is known as a cervical artery dissection or vertebral artery dissection.

Here in more detail are some of the more frequent signs of a stroke:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body)
  • Sudden confusion and/or trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden vision impairment in one or both eyes
  • Sudden difficulty walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden onset of a severe headache with no apparent cause

Medical professionals use the saying: “Time is Brain” because accurate diagnosis and speedy treatment are vital to reducing the long-term effects of a stroke.

Unfortunately, there are some emergency departments which are not properly staffed or where staff are not properly trained.

In some cases, emergency room staff or other medical personal including those at urgent care centers may overlook or even ignore the warning signs of a stroke.

 Medical malpractice can occur if providers:

  • Fail to take proper medical histories or conduct a thorough physical examination;
  • Fail to order proper diagnostic studies (like a CT scan or MRI) to pinpoint a blockage;
  • Improperly classify the stroke as another medical condition, which results in delayed and/or improper treatment;
  • Failing to administer blood-thinning or anti-coagulation medications to the patient to prevent a stroke in patients suffering from a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation or “A Fib” for short;
  • Failing to administer a clot busting medication known as (tPA), an FDA-approved clot-busting drug with the ability to stop the progression of a stroke if timely given after the onset of symptoms or;
  • Failing to surgically remove the clot through a procedure known as an embolectomy

When the signs and symptoms of a stroke or impending stroke are missed, ignored, or improperly responded to by doctors, urgent care facilities, and hospitals, the patient loses the chance for a good recovery.

Failure to timely diagnose a stroke or start emergency treatment?  We can assist: https://brainlaw.com/medical-malpractice/stroke-misdiagnosis/

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Brain Injury Insider

michael kaplen
Brain Injury Insider is a weekly video update by The Brain Injury Law Firm ®. We cover the latest news and developments in traumatic brain injury, concussion, and brain injury law.
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