Avandia Stroke Lawsuit
What is a stroke?
A stroke is the sudden death of brain cells due to inadequate blood flow to part of the brain.
The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrient rich blood to function properly. A stroke occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off by a blockage or rupture of a blood vessel to or within the brain. Damage to brain cells caused by stroke-related oxygen deprivation can rapidly lead to permanent disability and death. When an artery is blocked by a clot or bursts and bleeds, the impairment or interruption of the blood supply to that part of the brain begins within minutes to cause brain cell death.
Two types of stroke
Ischemic Stroke — Stroke caused by a clot obstructing blood flow to the brain is called an ischemic stroke.
Hemorrhagic Stroke — Stroke caused by an interruption of blood flow to the brain when a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds is called a hemorrhagic stroke.
Symptoms of Stroke
Stroke symptoms appear suddenly, over seconds to minutes in most cases. The symptoms depend on the part of the brain affected and the extent of the damage. The greater the area of brain affected, the more functions that are likely to be lost. Symptoms of stroke include:
Emergency Treatment of Stroke
A stroke is a medical emergency and a person suffering stroke symptoms must get to a hospital for treatment right away. The goal of stroke treatment is to reestablish blood flow to the brain. Emergency treatment for stroke depends on the type of stroke; ischemic stroke (artery blockage) or hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding into the brain).
Ischemic strokes are caused by clots blocking blood flow to an artery supplying the brain. Emergency treatment is focussed on removing the blockage. Clot-busting drugs called thrombolytics may be used in the treatment of ischemic strokes as an emergency therapy to dissolve the clot and unblock the artery. Thrombolysis, the use of clot-busters, may not be appropriate in all cases. For maximum benefit, thrombolytic medications must be started within 3 hours of the onset of stoke symptoms. Another emergency therapy for treating ischemic stroke is the direct physical removal of the clot (thrombus) from the artery using a mechanical thrombectomy device called the Merci Retrieval System. This procedure involves inserting a catheter into the femoral artery (a large blood vessel in the thigh), then guiding a corkscrew-shaped device to the site of the clot to remove the blockage and restore blood supply to the brain.
Hemorrhagic strokes occur when the rupture of a blood vessel causes bleeding in the brain (intra-cerebral hemorrhage) or between the brain and the skull (subarachnoid hemorrhage). When high blood pressure is the cause, antihypertensive drugs are given to bring down blood pressure. Hyperosmotic medications also may be used to reduce swelling in tissue surrounding the brain. Surgery may be needed to stop a brain bleed. A surgical procedure may be done to isolate, block off or support the walls of the weak artery in order to reduce the risk of fatal bleeding in the future.
Post-stroke rehabilitation helps patients overcome disabilities and regain function lost due to brain damage caused by the stroke. Medication or drug therapy is the most common treatment for stroke patients. Treating stroke means treating underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, that increase stroke risk. The prescription medicines used most often to prevent or treat ischemic stroke are anti-clotting blood-thinners called antithrombotics (antiplatelet agents and anticoagulants), and blood clot dissolving medications called thrombolytics.
Because stroke results in the death of brain cells, it can affect the entire body. The disability and functional impairment caused by stroke depend on the extent of the brain damage and in which area of the brain the stroke occurred. A common disability caused by stroke is total paralysis on one side of the body (hemiplegia). A less severe form of this stroke disability is one-sided weakness (hemiparesis), where function is impaired, but not completely paralyzed.
Stroke risk also may lead to lead to cognitive problems with attention, memory, awareness, concentration, learning, reasoning, problem-solving and judgement. Patients surviving strokes often have communication and speech problems. Strokes can lead to emotional problems. Stroke survivors may express inappropriate emotions and have difficulty controlling their emotions. It is common for stroke patients to suffer depression. Stroke survivors may experience numbness, tingling or strange sensations of pain, often worse in the hands and feet. Movement and temperature changes, especially cold temperatures, increase the severity of this pain.
Stroke patients continue to suffer disability and impairment long past their initial recovery. Many stroke survivors suffer severe, permanent functional impairment and permanent disability.
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