When a person falls and bumps their head, they may think that it will just leave a minor scratch or bruise. However, the truth is that hitting your head on a hard object or surface can cause a traumatic brain injury, which is a serious injury that can lead to various long-term complications.
Some of these complications may include memory loss, brain fog, depression, anxiety, insomnia, loss of coordination, speech problems, and more. Even though these complications can seriously impact a person’s life in many ways, they may soon learn that they now have a higher risk of stroke, which can lead to its own set of lifelong complications as well.
What is a traumatic brain injury?
The Mayo Clinic defines a traumatic brain injury as an injury that “results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body.” Traumatic brain injuries usually occur when a person hits their head on a hard surface or item, such as a pole, the floor, a countertop, a table, etc. However, they can also occur when a sharp item goes directly through the tissues in the brain.
Traumatic brain injuries should be taken very seriously, as they have the ability to cause long-term and permanent consequences or even result in death. Depending on how severe your brain injury is, the cells within the brain could experience bleeding, bruising, and tearing, and they will likely never be the same as before the injury occurred.
What is the correlation between a traumatic brain injury and strokes?
According to a recent article published in The Washington Post, a study reveals that there is a risk of a very common type of stroke for people who fall and bump their heads and develop a traumatic brain injury. This common type of stroke is called an ischemic stroke, which accounts for more than 80 percent of all stroke cases in the United States. Ischemic strokes occur when the brain cannot get the blood supply it needs. This typically happens when a vessel becomes blocked, preventing the necessary nutrients and oxygen from making its way to the brain. Unfortunately, when the vessels become blocked, the brain cells can start to die quickly.
The study mentioned in the article found that individuals who experienced a head injury are 32 percent more likely to suffer an ischemic stroke than those who have never suffered a head injury. To make matters worse, the study explained that “individuals with two or more head injuries had a 94 percent greater chance of stroke, compared with those with no head injury.”
Another study released in the National Library of Medicine a few years ago also analyzed individuals who have and have not experienced traumatic brain injuries. After the study ended, the researchers determined that it does not matter how minor or severe a person’s traumatic brain injury is or even the type of traumatic brain injury that they experience (concussion, diffuse axonal injury, contusion, etc.). Anyone who suffers a traumatic brain injury is at risk of an ischemic stroke. The study also pointed out that when an individual experiences a traumatic brain injury, they are 86 percent more likely to have a stroke within the first few months than individuals who have never suffered a traumatic brain injury.
How can I prevent a stroke after bumping my head?
After learning about these studies, you are likely wondering how you can prevent a stroke after bumping your head. While it is difficult to prevent a stroke, you can reduce your chances of having one by seeking medical treatment as soon as possible after falling or striking your head on a hard object. Even if you do not remember hitting your head or think that it is just a minor bump, you should visit your local emergency room or make an appointment with your primary care doctor as soon as possible.
The reason this is recommended is because it can take several hours or even days for any symptoms of a traumatic brain injury to show up, and by the time you start noticing symptoms, it could be too late. Therefore, as a precaution, you should visit a healthcare provider and explain what happened as well as allow them to assess your head and run tests, such as a CT or MRI scan. If you are noticing symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, you should go over your symptoms with the doctor. Some of the most common symptoms that individuals with traumatic brain injuries experience includes:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling tired
- Speech issues
- Inability to balance
- Vision problems
- Light or sound sensitivity
- Memory loss
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Mood swings
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Pupil dilation
- Increased agitation
- Severe depression or anxiety
My loved one did not receive treatment in time for their stroke. What can I do?
If your loved one is having a stroke or you suspect that they have already had a stroke, prompt diagnosis and treatment is essential. This means that a doctor will need to quickly assess the person’s body, determine their medical history, and order imaging scans of the brain. Imaging scans will allow the doctor to see if there is anything out of the ordinary happening with the brain. For example, they may be able to locate if your loved one has a traumatic brain injury, any reduction of blood flow to the brain, or any bleeding on or within the brain.
Most healthcare providers are trained and educated on how to diagnose and treat strokes right away. If they fail to look for and find the signs and symptoms associated with a stroke, they can cause the individual to suffer life-threatening complications or even die. This can happen when a hospital or medical facility is understaffed, the healthcare provider fails to order the proper tests, they misdiagnose the signs and symptoms, or they ignore or dismiss the patient’s worries or complaints.
If this has happened to your loved one, you most likely have a legal claim on your hands. In order to hold the hospital or doctor’s office accountable for their negligent actions or behaviors, you should consider hiring a Louisvillle delayed stroke treatment lawyer who will stand up and fight for the justice you and your loved one deserve.
At Garcia & Artigliere, we advocate for our clients who were not given the proper medical attention and care when they needed it the most. Our delayed stroke treatment attorneys are ready and available to hold nursing homes, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and caretakers responsible for delaying diagnosis and treatment. If you are ready to take legal action, please schedule a free case evaluation today. Call our office or submit our contact form. We represent and fight for the rights of clients in Louisville, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and New Orleans for your convenience.
Stephen M. Garcia represents victims of elder and nursing home abuse and is known as one of the leading civil litigators in the country. He is Senior Partner at Garcia & Artigliere, where the firm’s practice is focused on elder abuse, nursing home abuse, and wrongful death of the elderly.
Find out more about Stephen M. Garcia