Strokes happen suddenly and if you aren’t aware of the warning signs, things could turn potentially fatal in a matter of moments. Because strokes are a leading cause of death in the United States—killing nearly 130,000 Americans, and because there are methods and medications that can stop them or at least temper their damage, it’s crucial we all know what to look for in stroke warning signs.
If someone around you exhibits signs of a stroke, call 911 immediately. At Baker & Gilchrist, we’ve seen firsthand what can happen when stroke treatment is delayed. Quick action and diagnosis by medical professionals is crucial in the first hours following a stroke.
Common Stroke Symptoms
Stroke symptoms include: sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg; confusion and trouble speaking; dizziness or loss of balance; sudden headache with no known cause; and difficulty seeing. The National Stroke Association uses the acronym FAST to help identify stroke symptoms.
F: The FACE of a stroke victim may droop on one side. Ask them to smile and observe their facial muscles.
A: The ARMS of a stroke victim may similarly lose muscle strength. Ask them to raise both arms and watch to see if one arm drifts downward.
S: SPEECH is usually affected by a stroke. Ask them to repeat a simple phrase and watch for slurring or other strangeness.
T: TIME is of the essence. Call 911 immediately if these symptoms are present.
Noting the time that symptoms appear can help medical staff identify which medications may be helpful. In particular, a medication known commonly as tPA can be administered within the first few hours of a stroke and actually dissolve the blood clot causing the condition. The results can be swift and near-miraculous.
When you are unaware of the symptoms of a stroke, your treatment can be delayed. Even if you know something is wrong, emergency room staff may not immediately determine that a stroke is occurring. When the diagnosis is delayed, you may miss the window for potentially life-saving medication.
Strokes can result in paralysis and even death. Early identification, diagnosis, and treatment are crucial in ensuring the best outcome possible.
For additional information on strokes and their treatment, visit the website of the StrokeCareNow Network (SCNN), a local network affiliated with Ft. Wayne hospitals and dedicated to improving stroke education and treatment throughout Indiana.
Injured by a Delayed Diagnosis?
If you or a loved one suffered a stroke and a diagnosis was not swift—leading to potentially life-changing medical injuries, contact the Indiana medical malpractice attorneys of Baker & Gilchrist today. You could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call 855-695-2612 for a free consultation.