A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, leaving brain cells without the oxygen needed to remain viable. This potentially fatal attack on the brain affects more than 750,000 people each year in the United States, according to Centers for Disease Control. The concerned Washington D.C. and Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. want to ensure that the public is armed with life-saving information about this deadly health problem.
The most important things to know about strokes
- High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke. The American Heart Association explains that most first-time stroke patients have high blood pressure, also called hypertension. This is because high blood pressure causes arteries within the body to clog or burst. When arteries within the brain become obstructed, it creates a substantially higher risk for stroke. If they burst or clog, the brain stops receiving the blood and oxygen that it needs to for survive and brain cells begin to die.
- Women are more likely to have strokes than men. While cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among both genders, about 55,000 more women than men experience strokes each year, according to Harvard Health Publications. Hormonal changes, pregnancy and reproductive health can all influence a woman’s risk of having a stroke. Depression and emotional stress also contribute to the likelihood of a stroke and these conditions are more common among women.
- Strokes have a hereditary factor. Though not a predominant factor, studies show that a family history of stroke raises your risk factor. As explained in a National Institute of Health study, several genetic abnormalities can increase a person’s risk of stroke. Individuals with a family history of stroke should have their cholesterol levels and blood pressure monitored on a regular basis for optimal prevention.
- The actions of those around you can save your life. When strokes occur, those around you often first recognize signs and symptoms. They may notice drooping on one side of your face or sudden, slurred speech. You may also appear confused or unable to walk steadily. Many stroke victims are saved by the quick actions of others. Recognizing the signs of a stroke can help save a life.
- The faster the treatment, the better your chances for a full recovery. Every minute of a stroke can result in increased numbers of dead brain cells. That’s why quick treatment is vital to survival and recovery. Several area medical centers maintain stroke centers, including Johns Hopkins Stroke Center and the Georgetown University Stroke Center. These medical facilities focus on treatment and rehabilitation following a stroke.
Secure legal representation when medical malpractice in Washington D.C. or Maryland causes you harm
Arming yourself with information is one step you can take to empower yourself against the debilitating effects of a stroke. By recognizing risk factors and symptoms, as well seeking timely medical treatment, you can strengthen your chances of survival and a full recovery. However, if a physician or hospital fails to correctly or timely diagnose your stroke symptoms or unreasonably delays appropriate treatment, contact the Washington DC and Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. at 410-234-1000 for a confidential discussion of your case.