CEREBROVASCULAR ACCIDENT (C.V.A.)

What is a Cerebrovascular Accident?

A cerebrovascular accident is the medical term for a stroke.  A stroke occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain is stopped by a blocked or ruptured blood vessel.  As a result, the affect part of the brain does not receive oxygen and may result in permanent brain damage.  Therefore, how quickly a person recognizes the signs of a stroke and how quick a person receives appropriate medical care will determine the amount of brain damage caused by a stroke.

There are two types of strokes.  An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel.  One type of ischemic stroke is an embolic stroke, which occurs when a clot in a part of the body breaks away and travels to the brain.  Another type of ischemic stroke is a thromtotic stroke, which occurs when a clot forms in a blood vessel in the brain.  A hemorrhagic stroke is the second type of stroke and results from a rupture blood vessel in the brain.  The rupture may also take place in the membrane that surrounds the brain.

A person may experience several symptoms if he or she is having a stroke.  For instance, the person may have trouble walking, become dizzy, or have problems with balance and coordination.  In addition, the person may have difficulty speaking or understanding others who are speaking.  The person may experience paralysis in the leg, arm or face.  In most cases, the paralysis occurs on one side of the body.  Moreover, the person may have blurred or darkened vision.  Finally, a stroke may bring about a sudden headache accompanied by vomiting or dizziness.  It is extremely important for a person to seek medical attention right away at the first signs of a stroke to prevent further injury and damage.

How is a Cerebrovascular Accident Treated?

If a doctor suspects a person is having a stroke, he or she will first check the patient’s vision, speaking, senses and reflexes.  The doctor will also check for a bruit, which is a particular sound in the blood vessels in the neck that indicates abnormal blood flow.  Health care professionals may also check the patient for high blood pressure, which usually is a sign that a person has had or is having a stroke.  Moreover, a doctor may order various tests that take images of the blood vessels in the head and neck.  Such tests include an angiogram, a carotoid ultrasound, a computed tomography (CT) scan, and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

How a stroke is treated depends upon the type of stroke that it is.  To treat ischemic strokes, doctors usually administer blood thinning or clot-dissolving medications.  Doctors may also inject medicine into the brain or perform surgery to remove the clot.  To treat hemorrhagic strokes, doctors prescribe medication to relieve brain pressure caused by bleeding.  They may also perform surgery to repair ruptured vessels and to drain excess blood around the brain.

How Can a Person Prevent a Cerebrovascular Accident?

To prevent a stroke, a person should be conscious of his or her health.  For instance, he or she should maintain a normal blood pressure and limit eating saturated fat and foods high in cholesterol.  A person shouldn’t smoke and should only drink alcohol in moderation.  In addition, a person should eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly to control his or her weight.  Finally, doctors can prescribe blood thinning medications to people who are at risk of having a stroke.

How Gallivan & Gallivan Can Help If Your Child Suffered from a Cerebrovascular Accident

If your child suffered from a cerebrovascular accident, our firm may be able to help.  Fast and appropriate care is vital in treating a stroke to prevent further brain damage.  Unfortunately, in some cases, medical professionals do no act quickly enough or fail to provide appropriate treatment for strokes.  If you believe your child was the victim of such malpractice or negligence, we will investigate your claim and recover compensation from those responsible.  Contact us now for more information.

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