One person suffers a stroke in the UK every five minutes and of the 15 million people worldwide who suffer a stroke every year nearly 40% die and 30% are left permanently disabled. While most of those affected are over 65, there is a growing rise in the number of younger people having strokes.
Anyone can have a stroke, including children and babies. Last year there was a reported increase in the occurrence of strokes in the under-55s with the rise in diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol identified as being some of the key causes.
While strokes are both preventable and treatable, Penningtons Manches' clinical negligence team is regularly instructed to investigate claims involving delays in diagnosing and providing appropriate treatment for this condition.
Elise Bevan, a clinical negligence specialist in the firm’s Godalming office, commented: “We strongly support the need for better stroke awareness as it is vital that people of all ages are aware of the early warning signs. Symptoms include dizziness, poor mobility, speech impairment, paralysis and problems with vision. A stroke is a medical emergency and the correct treatment is required urgently to avoid permanent disability or death.
“We continue to act for patients who have not been diagnosed swiftly and are facing a lifetime impairment as a result of the delay in treatment. The early use of drugs such as aspirin, heparin or tissue plasminogen are very effective and can make the difference between a return to health or a life-changing disability”.
The World Stroke Campaign (WSC) promotes World Stroke Day on 29 October 2013 and asks people to commit to six stroke challenges: