Strokes: The Importance of Time
When someone is having a stroke, getting immediate medical help is essential. For each minute a stroke progresses, a person loses 1.9 million brain cells.
Stroke Victims Need Immediate Medical Treatment
A stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when there is an interruption in the blood supply to one’s brain. This can cause irreversible brain damage. There are two main types of strokes: a hemorrhagic stroke and an ischemic stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptrues. An ischemic stroke usually occurs when a blood clot obstructs a blood vessel and stops the flow of blood to the brain. Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke. In fact, ischemic strokes account for approximately 85 percent of all strokes seen by personal injury lawyers.
When a person has a stroke, the time it takes to get medical help can make the difference between recovery, permanent brain damage, and death. It is critical to take immediate action to mitigate damages.
TPA is the only FDA-approved treatment for ischemic strokes. It works by dissolving the clot and improving blood flow to the brain. However, time is of the essence. To work, physicians must administer TPA within 4.5 hours from the onset of the stroke. If administered within that 4.5-hour window, a patient may fully recover.
Symptoms of a Stroke
Most strokes happen quickly without warning, so knowing the symptoms can save a life. Symptoms of a stroke include:
- Numbness or weakness on one side of the body
- Dizziness and loss of balance
- Vision changes in one or both eyes
- Slurred speech or problems forming words
- Mental confusion
- A sudden or very severe headache
Each year, approximately 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke. While people with large clots make up the smallest percentage of victims, they have the highest risks for disability and death. Medical treatments and advances, like TPA, are making a huge difference in both survival rates and quality of life for stroke patients. However, the success of any treatment relies on fast emergency medical treatment. Remember, when it comes to strokes, time is brain.