May is National Stroke Awareness Month and medical malpractice attorneys from Messa & Associates, along with the National Stroke Association, urge you to be educated and aware of stroke risk factors and warning signs. Stroke is a “brain attack” that cuts off all blood and oxygen flow to the brain, killing up to two million brain cells a minute and increasing the risk of permanent brain damage, disability, or death. In the United States, stroke is the third leading cause of death, killing approx. 130,000 people a year, and a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability. Approximately three-quarters of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65 and the risk of stroke more than doubles every ten years after 55. On average, someone in the United States suffers a stroke every 40 seconds.
Remaining educated about the risks of stroke is the only way to help yourself prevent them. Risk factors for stroke include high cholesterol, obesity, previous occurrence of stroke or mini-stroke, high alcohol intake, diabetes, and family history of stroke. The most important risk factor, however, is hypertension. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, causes damage to all arteries of body, making it possible for a blood vessel in the brain to burst (hemorrhagic stroke) or become clotted (ischemic stroke). High blood pressure must be controlled medically and through lifestyle change to help prevent the occurrence of stroke. If you suffer from high blood pressure or are at risk for stroke for other reasons, talk to your doctor about what you can do to reduce your chances.
When it comes to treating a stroke, time is the most important factor. Using the FAST test for warning signs, it is simple to determine whether or not a person needs to receive immediate medical treatment regarding a possible stroke.
F (face) = Ask the person to smile. Does their FACE droop?
A (arms) = Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one of their arms drift downward?
S (speech) = Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does their speech sound slurred?
T (time) = If you observe any of these symptoms, act FAST! Call 9-1-1 immediately.
The medical malpractice attorneys of Messa & Associates recently earned a $1.5 million settlement on behalf of a 54-year-old Bucks County woman who presented to the ER with symptoms of stroke. She was not promptly diagnosed or treated, resulting in hemiplegia, or paralysis of one side of the body.
If you or a loved one have suffered a stroke and are now suffering the devastating effects of a missed or late diagnosis, contact the Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Messa & Associates for a free case evaluation. Our experienced and successful team of medical malpractice attorneys and medical experts is dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. Call us, toll-free, at 877-MessaLaw.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More