Strokes are associated with the elderly, and those with high blood pressure, diabetes, and other symptoms. However, recent figures released by the Georgia Hospital Association reveal that the same number of people under age 65 as over 65 experience strokes each year. I know what you’re thinking, age 65 is a huge spectrum, and not indicative of either young adults or teenagers. Well, doctors at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta say the number of young stroke patients ages 15-40 admitted to the Shepherd Center has tripled in the past eight years. thats right, tripled!!! Those are alarming figures.
So why are more young people having strokes? In an interview with The Atlanta Journal Constitution ,Dr. Ford Vox, says: “We’re eating more processed foods, more salts and reaping the fruits of that. Problems that used to develop in older adults such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, we’re now seeing in people as young as 14.” Vox attributes much of the increase to Americans’ sedentary lifestyle.
As Medical Malpractice lawyers who specialize in representing stroke victims, we generally handle stroke cases that involve a failure to treat or failure to properly diagnose in a hospital setting. However, the malpractice is often with the primary care provider for failure to treat the symptoms that can cause a stroke.
Vox, said the main driver of these strokes is hypertension, and any point above normal — 120 over 80 — significantly increases the risk for stroke.
While there is some debate about how vigorously hypertension should be treated, Vox maintains doctors should err on the side of aggressively.
Same with diabetes and obesity, both of which, he said, suggest problems with patients’ vascular system.
For instance, Vox said, diabetes, which people think of simply as elevated sugar, damages the body’s cardiovascular system.
A stroke is typically defined as either ischemic or hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes, caused by a blockage in an artery, are by far the more common type, causing over 80 percent of all strokes. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by a tear in the artery’s wall that produces bleeding into or around the brain.
The treatment protocol for ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes is vastly different. Thus proper recognition by emergency room doctors is key to timely treatment and better recovery. If the stroke is ischemic then the patient is a canditate for tPA, (Tissue Plasminogen Activator), which is a powerful clot buster that helps to reduce the devastating effects of an untreated stroke.