Ischemic Strokes and Hemorrhagic Strokes

March 16, 2016 by Carrie Capouellez
Ischemic Strokes

When you or a loved one has a stroke, it can be a terrifying experience that could cause permanent physical and mental damage. Because more than 800,000 strokes occur in the United States each year, it’s important to understand what a stroke is and what causes one. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off, causing brain cells to be deprived of oxygen, which can lead to their death. There are two types of strokes, ischemic and hemorrhagic, and while oxygen deprivation to the brain causes both types, they have very different causes.

Stroke Symptoms

Depending on what area of the brain is deprived of oxygen and the extent of the damage, symptoms of a stroke can vary, but most often include: temporary weakness of an arm or leg, paralysis on one side of the body, loss of ability to speak, loss of vision, lightheadedness, reduced sensation of tough, difficulty swallowing, and a host of other symptoms.

Hemorrhagic Strokes

Hemorrhagic strokes are much less common than ischemic strokes but are significantly more deadly. Hemorrhagic strokes are responsible for 40% of all stroke-related deaths. Hemorrhagic strokes have two causes – either a weakened blood vessel begins to leak or a brain aneurysm bursts. When a blood vessel leaks in the brain, the bleeding causes brain cells to die, making that portion of the brain stop working correctly. High blood pressure and aging blood vessels are the most likely cause of hemorrhagic strokes.

Ischemic Strokes

Ischemic strokes account for nearly 87% of all strokes. These adverse medical events occur when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain. The blood clot can form in another place in the body and travel to the brain (embolic stroke) or it can form inside an artery that supplies blood to the brain (thrombotic stroke). The most significant risk factor contributing to an ischemic stroke is high blood pressure.

Philadelphia Stroke Misdiagnosis Attorneys

Because the symptoms of a stroke can vary greatly, its diagnosis can be delayed or overlooked in favor of less serious medical conditions. This is incredibly dangerous because depriving the brain of oxygen can cause permanent brain damage and death. If you or someone you know suffered a stroke and suspect a delay or misdiagnosis during the initial stages of medical treatment, there is limited time to file a lawsuit. Contact one of the Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Lopez McHugh LLP to discuss your claims.

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