Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide and can lead to permanent brain damage and lifelong disabilities.  A stroke is usually associated with older people, but a new study published in the The Lancet revealed that strokes are now increasingly affecting young and middle-aged people. It was noted that more than 83,000 people younger than 20 suffer strokes each year.

A stroke occurs when brain cells suddenly die due to a lack of oxygen. This can be caused by a blood clot or plaque interrupting blood flow to the brain or a ruptured artery that supplies blood and oxygen to the brain.  An ischemic stroke accounts for approximately three-quarters of all strokes and occurs when there is a thrombus, or blood clot, that develops, causing a blockage of blood flow and oxygen to the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel on the brain’s surface ruptures, causing a subarachnoid hemorrhage or cerebral bleed.  Sometimes, a blood clot can form in the dural venous sinuses, which drain blood from the brain, leading to a pressure build-up or ruptured vessel behind the blockage.

When someone is suffering from a stroke they may experience dizziness, loss of balance, headache, slurred speech, numbness or paralysis on one side of the body, blurred or double vision, and speech or memory problems.  Most of the time, a patient will be admitted to the ICU to be monitored and treated.  Any delay in diagnosing an ischemic stroke could lead to a delay in receiving blood thinners or clot busting medications to help minimize the extent of the brain damage.

If you, or someone close to you, suffered a stroke and feel there may have been a delay in diagnosing an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, you may want to speak with an attorney at a medical malpractice law firm near you for additional information about how you can learn about a possible stroke lawsuit.