Unfortunately, strokes are very common in the United States. Therefore, doctors and nurses should be prepared and ready to handle and provide the necessary care for patients experiencing a stroke. However, if an individual does not receive the immediate diagnosis and care that they need, there is a high chance that they will suffer long-term complications and become physically disabled for the rest of their lives.
As a result, they may never be able to do anything that they did before the stroke occurred, and medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering may begin to play a significant role in their life. This can cause serious stress, frustration, and overwhelmingness as you know in the back of your mind that if you received the proper care and treatment, you or your loved one may have had a very different quality of life than right now.
What is an ischemic stroke?
According to the Mayo Clinic, an ischemic stroke happens “when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients.” When the brain is unable to get the proper oxygen and nutrients it needs, the cells will start to become permanently damaged within a few short minutes. An ischemic stroke is considered a medical emergency. Therefore, the sooner a person is treated for this type of stroke, the less likely they will have permanent brain damage, become physically disabled, or pass away.
Data and statistics on strokes in the United States
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person has a stroke every 40 seconds, and a person passes away from a stroke every three minutes and 14 seconds in the United States. To make matters worse, close to 800,000 Americans die from experiencing strokes annually. The CDC also states that “stroke is the leading cause of serious long-term disability.” Each of these statistics are extremely alarming and should be taken into consideration by all individuals and healthcare professionals.
What are the symptoms of an ischemic stroke?
If you suspect that you or someone you know may be currently having or already had a stroke, there are certain signs and symptoms you can look out for, such as:
- Speaking and comprehension issues
- Paralysis in certain limbs or body parts, as well as the face
- Feeling numb in certain parts of the body, including the face
- Vision problems or inability to see
- Inability to move, walk, or get around
- Balance issues
- Feeling dizzy
- Intense headaches
- Nausea or vomiting
If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, you should seek medical treatment for yourself or your loved one immediately. The sooner medical treatment can begin, the better chance that you or your loved one may recover.
Why do ischemic strokes occur?
The Mayo Clinic explains that ischemic strokes are “the most common type of stroke” among individuals. There are other types of strokes, such as hemorrhagic strokes and transient ischemic attacks. However, ischemic strokes account for about 87 percent of all strokes.
Ischemic strokes usually occur because the blood vessels in the brain have become blocked, which leads to little to no blood flow to the brain. These blockages typically happen due to “fatty deposits that build up in blood vessels or by blood clots or other debris that travel through the bloodstream.” Usually, these particles make their way up to the brain from the heart and become stuck within the brain’s blood vessels. When this happens, the individual may begin to have an ischemic stroke, which must be treated promptly in order to save their life or prevent them from entering into a vegetative state.
The long-term complications from ischemic strokes
Even though an ischemic stroke can cause severe long-term complications, delayed treatment usually makes these complications much worse. Here are some of the complications that often occur from ischemic strokes:
- Inability to move or use muscles: Individuals who suffer from ischemic strokes frequently experience paralysis in certain limbs or body parts. This makes it extremely difficult for them to move, use certain muscles, control their bladder or bowel, and even function normally.
- Inability to remember, think clearly, or problem solve: Most people who experience a stroke have trouble remembering things. They may also not be able to think clearly, make certain decisions, solve problems, or comprehend specific ideas or concepts.
- No longer able to talk, communicate, or swallow: Since a stroke can significantly impact a person’s throat and mouth muscles, they may no longer be able to communicate, talk, or even swallow. As a result, it may become very difficult to understand them and know what they want or need, as well as ensure that they are eating and getting the proper nutrients that they need.
- Severe and chronic pain: Those who have had a stroke will most likely suffer severe and chronic pain. This may occur within the muscles or body parts that have been impacted by the stroke. Tingling and numbness are also common after having a stroke.
- Behavior changes: When a person has a stroke, they typically experience behavior changes. For example, they may become distant, easily irritable, socially withdrawn, and angry. These changes in behavior can happen suddenly and without warning.
- Emotional issues: Strokes are also known to cause emotional issues, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. The aftermath of the stroke tends to make individuals feel lost and hopeless, which can affect their emotions and mental health greatly.
- No longer able to live independently or take care of oneself: Individuals who suffer a stroke may never be able to live independently or take care of themselves again. As a result, they may need around-the-clock caregiving services, occupational therapy, or even a live-in aid.
While all these complications can happen because of a stroke, the chances of you or your loved one experiencing them increase drastically when treatment is delayed. It is the responsibility of nursing homes, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and caretakers to know and be aware of the symptoms of a stroke as well as be prepared to provide prompt and proper treatment right away.
If you recently suffered a stroke and believe delayed treatment impacted your quality of life and recovery, the stroke attorneys from Garcia & Artigliere are here to assist you. Our team is experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable when it comes to holding individuals and companies accountable for their delayed diagnosis or treatment of strokes, and we will fight endlessly to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your losses. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation today or visit our offices in Long Beach, Louisville, Los Angeles, and Phoenix at your earliest opportunity.
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.
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