Patients arrive every day in Ohio hospitals with symptoms of a cerebrovascular accident. A stroke is a serious condition that requires immediate attention. Delays in diagnosis or action can lead to lifelong disabilities and death.
What is a CVA?
A cerebrovascular accident involves an interruption in blood flow to a section of the brain. The loss of blood flow is typically due to a blocked or leaking blood vessel. Deprived of oxygen and other nutrients, the brain cells in the affected area begin to die.
Brain tissue is fragile, so the treatment for a CVA must begin quickly to prevent damage. If clotting is the issue, you may receive medications to dissolve the blockage. A leaking blood vessel may require a surgical repair.
What are the signs of a CVA?
CVAs become more common as people grow older. Other factors like high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity will also increase the risk of a stroke.
To help people receive the treatment that they need, everyone should know the most common stroke symptoms. Some of these signs include the following:
- Sudden headaches
- Numbness and weakness on one side
- Sudden vision issues
- Confusion and slurring
Missing a CVA diagnosis
While a CVA is a frequently encountered ailment, failure to diagnose a stroke is not unusual. In younger adults, doctors may attribute stroke symptoms to another issue like drug use or a head injury. In a post-surgical situation, medical staff might assume that painkillers and anesthesia are causing confusion and numbness.
Misdiagnosis of a CVA can mean that a patient receives the wrong treatment while precious time passes. The chance of death or permanent paralysis increases as the cerebrovascular accident affects more brain tissue.
If you suspect that you or someone you know is having a stroke, it is critical to act right away. Reporting the symptoms and seeking treatment may prevent a tragic outcome.