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Preventing Strokes through Timely and Proper Treatment

One truly inspiring story on stroke concerns a three-day old child who had a sudden seizure while at a pediatrician’s office during a routine check-up. The seizure caused the baby’s knees to jerk up towards her chest, her head to turn sharply to her right, her small eyes to roll back and her skin to turn to blue. CPR was performed on her and, as soon as she began to breathe again, she was treated with an intravenous line before the ambulance team that rushed her to a hospital’s emergency room arrived.

The baby suffered two more seizures that same day and though she made it through the ordeal, the seizures were more than enough to damage parts of her brain, causing her holistic development to be affected. The cause of the seizures, which were identified as ischemic stroke (a stroke caused by an obstruction within the blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain) was later determined to be a clot in the blood vessel. What followed was months of anti-seizure medication, appointments with doctors and treatment by therapists. Today, 6 years after the seizures nearly claimed her life in 2007, the child has become an embodiment of strength, determination, kindness, beauty and, most of all, happiness, despite struggling everyday in performance of even the simplest activities, like climbing the stairs.

A stroke, or brain attack, which is the fourth leading cause of death in the US (after heart attack and cancer), is a very serious medical condition; it deprives the brain of the oxygen it needs, causing the brain cells to die. If not given proper and timely treatment, it can end in disability, permanent brain damage or death.

The sooner the stroke is diagnosed and the patient given proper, timely treatment, the patient can be saved from life-long disabilities. Many doctors and emergency room staff often fail to diagnose strokes, though, as their symptoms are interpreted as signs of other illnesses.

A really informative article from the website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, a law firm in Massachusetts, states that some of the common symptoms of stroke include headache, neck pain, weakness, vision changes and the most obvious, the transient ischemic attacks (TIAs or mini-strokes. More accurately, these “sudden” symptoms are numbness in the face, arm or leg, speech trouble, loss of balance or coordination and dizziness, unexplained severe headache.

The US Food and Drug Administration, the American Heart Association, and the American Stroke Association state that to effectively treat stroke patients and enable them to fully recover, they ought to be treated with the clot busting drug, the tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), within three hours of the start of stroke symptoms.

Any failure by any emergency room staff or doctor to recognize a stroke and give appropriate treatment is nothing less than medical malpractice. Families of medical malpractice victims ought to contact a medical malpractice lawyer immediately to know what the victim’s rights are and to obtain for him/her whatever compensation that he or she legally deserves.