Our previous blog focussed on what to do if you suspect your loved one is experiencing a stroke. We explained the importance of the FAST test and how acting quickly can potentially save lives.

Why is it so important to act quickly?

A stroke occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Treatments depend on the type of stroke, but generally speaking, the aim is to reinstate the blood supply as quickly as possible.

One treatment often considered by doctors is known as thrombolysis. This is an injection of medication which helps dissolve any blood clots in the brain and restore blood flow.

According to the NHS, around 85% of stroke cases are caused by a blood clot in the brain (known as an ischaemic stroke). If doctors are able to utilise thrombolysis, this treatment can greatly increase chances of recovery.

The quicker doctors are able to administer thrombolysis for an ischaemic stroke, the more effective the treatment is.

Importantly, thrombolysis is not generally used if more than 4.5 hours have passed after onset of the stroke. This is because doctors are unsure about how beneficial the treatment is after this time.

If you suspect a stroke, act FAST.

Face: Ask the person to smile. Does their face droop? 

Arms: Can they raise both arms? Does one arm drift downward? 

Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange? 

Time: to urgently call 999.

What we do for clients

We act for a number of clients who have suffered a stroke and received substandard treatment.

A notable past case involved a mid-30s gentleman who suffered an ischaemic stroke unexpectedly at home. Family members correctly identified that something was seriously wrong and dialled 999. Our client reached hospital well within the 4.5 hour thrombolysis window. Unfortunately though, diagnostic tests undertaken by the doctors where misinterpreted and no diagnosis of stroke was made until it was far too late. The opportunity to administer thrombolysis was missed and the gentleman suffered severe long term brain damage which affected his ability to speak and carry out normal daily activities.

We secured substantial damages which is now being used to obtain vital care and support for our client and his family for the remainder of his life.

If you are concerned about the care you or a loved one has received, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free, informal discussion:-

Jessica Atkin, Solicitor on 0845 050 3276 / 0115 985 3367 or jessica.atkin@freeths.co.uk 

Jane Williams, Partner (Nottingham/Leicester) on 0845 272 5724 or jane.williams@freeths.co.uk 

Carolyn Lowe, Partner (Oxford/Milton Keynes) 0186 578 1019 or Carolyn.lowe@freeths.co.uk 

Karen Reynolds, Partner (Derby/Stoke) on 0845 274 6830 or Karen.reynolds@freeths.co.uk 

For further information please also visit our website at: http://www.freeths.co.uk/legal-services/individuals/clinical-negligence/