A stroke generally refers to the sudden restriction or blockage of the blood supply to a part of the brain.

There are several types or mechanisms of stroke, including ischemic stroke, subarachnoid stroke and intracerebral stroke.

Ischemic stroke refers to the most common form of stroke. An ischemic stroke typically occurs when an artery supplying blood to the brain is occluded or completely blocked.

A subarachnoid stroke is characterized by the rupture of a cerebral artery leading to bleeding into the subarachnoid space.

An intracranial stroke is caused by the rupture of an artery within the brain.

There are several recognized risk factors for stroke, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and certain genetic disorders or congenital conditions.

Women may be particularly susceptible to stroke during pregnancy or during the process of childbirth.

The key to effective treatment of stroke is prevention and timely diagnosis. There are several recognized potential warning signs of an impending stroke, including numbness or the loss of sensation in the face, arm or even leg.

Some individuals may experience visual disturbances, dizziness or even the loss of balance when walking.

Other individuals may seem suddenly confused or may exhibit slurred speech. Other individuals may suffer an acute and severe headache that does not respond to typical therapies.

In many instances, the warning signs of impending stroke are either misinterpreted or ignored by the careless health care provider.

Frequently, readily available therapies to prevent or reduce the risk of stroke are not recommended, thereby putting the potential stroke victim at even greater risk.

Even when a stroke occurs, timely diagnosis and treatment may be critical in limiting the effects of the stroke and the permanency of any resulting injuries.

Acutely, certain types of strokes may be treated with medications, including tPA or tissue plasminogen activator.

Various surgical procedures have also been routinely utilized in the prevention and treatment of stroke, including carotid endarterectomy.

Carotid endarterectomy is particularly helpful for those individuals who suffer from arterial sclerosis of the carotid arteries, which are the two main arteries supplying blood to the brain.

For at risk patients, careful and safe health care providers may also recommend various medications, including aspirin, to lessen the risk of a potentially devastating stroke.

Undiagnosed and untreated stroke can result in permanent, devastating brain damage.

The Law Firm of Dugan, Babij, Tolley & Kohler, LLC has extensive experience in representing families whose loved ones have been injured or died as a result of medical malpractice associated with the failure to diagnose and treat stroke.

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