The most important factor when it comes to a stroke is timing. The faster you are able to recognize the signs and get someone to a hospital, the better chance they have at a full recovery. The best way to guarantee treatments work for a stroke victim is if they are treated within 3 hours of the first symptoms.
So, how can you assure you can tell when a stroke is happening?
Medical professionals use the pneumonic device F.A.S.T to remind you to act fast during a potential stroke situation.
Face; ask the person to smile. Does one side of their face droop?
Arms; ask them to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downwards?
Speech; ask the person to repeat a sentence. Is their speech slurred?
Time; if you see any of these signs call 911 immediately.
1 in 3 stroke patients never call 911. Those who are taken in an ambulance have a better chance of getting treated quicker because they can start lifesaving treatments in the ambulance.
Keeping track of the exact time the symptoms started will immensely help the medical professionals decide the best course of treatment.
What happens next?
First, you may be given a brain scan, in order to determine which type of stroke you had.
If you get to the hospital within 3 hours of the first symptoms of an ischemic stroke (this type of stroke makes up 87% of all strokes, and occurs when blood flow through the artery that supplies oxygen to the brain is blocked), you may be given a thrombolytic, a ‘clot-busting’ drug to break up the blood clots obstructing the artery. One of these drugs, called tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) dramatically improves the chance of recovering from a stroke. Multiple studies have shown that patients with ischemic strokes who receive TPA have less disability and are more likely to fully recover.
With a hemorrhagic stroke (a bleed within the brain) different medicine, surgery or other procedures may be needed to stop the bleeding in order to save brain tissue. Endovascular procedures may sometimes be used as treatment. A doctor inserts a long tube through a major artery then guides the tube to the site of the break/weak spot in the blood vessel, and installs a stent to repair the damage or prevent bleeding.
Some hemorrhagic strokes may need be treated with surgery. In the example of a ruptured aneurysm, a metal clip may be put in place to stop the blood loss.
Once treated, and sent home. Always be aware of potential symptoms in the future because 1 in 4 stroke survivors have another stroke within 5 years.
If you or a loved one have suffered from a stroke, call and schedule and free consultation with the lawyer at Kaire and Heffernan today.
Samantha Heffernan is a Miami personal injury blogger. She has been blogging about dangerous intersections, car accidents, medical negligence and other related injuries in Miami for several years.