A hemorrhagic stroke is where there is bleeding in the brain. A person’s chances of experiencing a hemorrhagic stroke increase if they are over age 65, and have a personal or family history of stroke, uncontrolled diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoke, are obese, sedentary, or have a poor diet.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 795,000 Americans sustain strokes annually. Most of these are new or first-time strokes, although about 25% are in patients who have had a previous stroke. About 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes resulting from a blockage of blood flow to the brain and approximately 13% are hemorrhagic.
Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by a weak blood vessel that breaks and bleeds into the brain, where it accumulates and compresses the nearby brain tissue. Hemorrhagic strokes are commonly caused by two kinds of damaged blood vessels:
- Cerebral aneurysms. A weak area in a blood vessel that balloons (enlarges). High blood pressure, heavy lifting, strong emotions, and certain medications can cause aneurysms to rupture and bleed, which can produce sudden severe headaches, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, and coma. If the bleeding directly damages the brain, a hemorrhagic stroke can result.
- Arteriovenous malformations(AVMs). Arteries normally transport oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the brain, and veins take blood with less oxygen from the brain to the heart. However, if an AVM occurs, a cluster of blood vessels in the brain avoids normal brain tissue and carries blood directly from the arteries to the veins. Brain AVMs are usually congenital, not hereditary, occur in less than one percent of the population, and are more common in men than women.
Personal injuries, such as an automobile accident, a fall on dangerous property, a birth injury, or medical malpractice, can also lead to a stroke. Traumatic brain injuries and damage to the muscles and tissues of the neck and head carry some of the highest risks for strokes following a motor vehicle accident.
According to a study from Boston University School of Medicine, adults aged 65 and older who were involved in a car crash were more likely to suffer a stroke within 30-180 days of the crash than pedestrians hit by an automobile.
Although strokes often occur due to the stress and trauma involved in a car accident, they can also result from other injuries causing trauma to the head and neck like whiplash, concussion, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Here are some likely scenarios:
- Trauma sustained by the tissue may cause clots to form and travel to the brain where they could cause a stroke. For example, a TBI that causes bleeding in the brain can cause a hemorrhagic stroke to occur.
- When the blood vessels in the head and neck are weakened in a car crash, blood can leak from the vessel, travel to the brain, and cause a stroke.
- An injury that causes the blood vessels to constrict or prevent a victim from breathing might limit the oxygen transported to the brain, which could lead to a stroke.
- When the brain loses oxygen, brain cells die, which can seriously affect certain functions of the body and lead to paralysis, loss of muscle movement, inability to talk and swallow, memory loss, pain, and numbness.
If one party’s negligence caused another to sustain a stroke, the injured party could be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit and receive monetary compensation for medical bills, loss of income, diminishment of earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
What are the symptoms of a hemorrhagic stroke?
Hemorrhagic strokes can exhibit immediate, serious, and life-threatening symptoms, including:
- A sudden, severe headache near the back of the head
- Loss of consciousness
- The inability to move or feel
- Muscle pain around the neck and shoulders
- Nausea and vomiting
- Light sensitivity
- Problems with vision
- Drooping eyelids
- One pupil larger than the other
To treat a hemorrhagic stroke, medical professionals locate the source of the blood, surgically “clip” it, drain the skull to reduce pressure in the brain, and seal off any sources of bleeding. Medications will be administered to reduce blood pressure, pain, anxiety, headaches, and seizures.
If you suffered a hemorrhagic stroke following an automobile accident, the skilled Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton will pursue fair compensation on your behalf. Call us at our Atlanta or Savannah offices, or complete our contact form to set up a free initial case evaluation today.
One of the nation’s top trial attorneys, Jeff Harris is an award-winning litigator who handles high-profile, complex cases across a wide variety of practice areas. He excels at securing justice for clients who have been seriously injured or killed, holding responsible parties accountable for their actions as well as their negligence.
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