Why Stroke Symptoms Should Always Be Cause For Concern

A stroke happens when a blood clot blocks the flow of oxygen to the brain. The affected brain cells stop functioning and die, leading to irreversible brain damage.

Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States (after heart attack and cancer). They're also the leading cause of disability in adults. Nearly one-third of stroke survivors need assistance with daily living, and 15 percent require admission into a long-term care facility. A stroke can also have significant mental health consequences such as depression.

Because strokes are so prevalent — and so deadly — any symptoms should be cause for concern. Doctors, nurses and other health care providers have a responsibility to handle potential stroke cases with care.

Are You At Risk?

Anyone can experience a stroke at any time. However, the risk is greater with factors such as:

  • Age: Stroke risk increases significantly for those over 55, and it doubles every decade after that.
  • Sex: In those younger than 60 years, the incidence of stroke is greater in men by a 3 to 2 ratio compared with women. Overall, men are slightly more likely to suffer strokes, but women are more likely to experience fatal strokes.
  • Previous stroke or heart attack: Poor cardiovascular health is a strong predictor of future strokes.
  • Family history: Those with a certain hereditary gene mutation are more likely to suffer from strokes.
  • Race: African-American men and women have higher rates of strokes.
  • Underlying health conditions: Heart disease, diabetes and obesity are linked with a higher risk of stroke.
  • Lifestyle factors: High blood pressure and high cholesterol — which are often the result of poor diet and lack of exercise — can contribute. Those who consume excessive alcohol or use tobacco are also at higher risk.

How Do You Know If You're Having A Stroke?

Strokes often come on suddenly, with symptoms such as:

  • Numbness, weakness or paralysis in the face, arm or leg — especially on one side of the body
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Difficulty speaking and understanding
  • Loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headache with no known cause

How To Survive A Stroke

The key to survival is early diagnosis and management. Early diagnosis and management within the first few hours after symptoms appear are critical. Swift action — within the first few hours after symptoms appear — can make a life-or-death difference. Additionally, the right treatment depends on an accurate diagnosis.

Was Your Stroke (Or That Of A Loved One) Overlooked?

When it comes to something as serious as a stroke, a delayed (or missed) diagnosis can result in life-threatening complications. People with symptoms often go to emergency rooms. Unfortunately, ER doctors don't always catch strokes. They may be flooded with patients and overworked. Doctors might also overlook risk factors or fail to recommend preventative measures for those with high risk.

If you have suspicions about how your situation was handled, contact our attorneys at Barry D. Lang, M.D. & Associates. We'll work with doctors and nurses on staff to review the specifics of your case in a timely manner. With backgrounds in law and medicine, our team has the necessary experience, knowledge and resources available to properly evaluate whether negligence occurred.

Call 800-LAWYERS to get started with a free consultation. Located in the Boston area, we work with patients across Massachusetts.