Posted on January 17, 2008 · Posted in Brain Injury

I just got an interesting email from Jayne:

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three
simple questions:
S * Ask the individual to SMILE.
T * Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE
R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911
immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

New Sign of a Stroke ——– Stick out Your Tongue

NOTE: Another ‘sign’ of a stroke is this: Ask the person to ‘stick’
out his tongue.. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the
other, that is also an indication of a stroke.

Why is this relevant to us, a personal injury law firm that represents people with brain damage?
Because stroke is an issue secondary to what happens in accident.

The most common post accident incident of stroke is what is called an artery dissection. In an artery dissection, one of the arteries that brings blood to the brain is injured in the actual accident. The injury to this artery causes a small tear (the dissection) and a little scab will form on this tear, and later break off and flow upwards to the brain. This now, floating in the blood stream scab, will later get caught in an artery higher up in the brain and cause a blood clot. This is what causes the the stroke. This actually does occur in nearly 1% of cases where there is a direct blow to the neck, but can also occur with rapid movement of the head.

Several years ago, there was a young girl who died after being hit in the head by a puck at a NHL game in Columbus, OH. The cause of death was not the blow to the head, but an artery dissection.

The other common situation where stroke occurs after a motor vehicle wreck is from chiropractic manipulation. The force of chiropractic manipulation, especially in someone who has already weakened or sprained his or her neck in the accident, can cause the same type tearing in an artery. Since we see so many people with vertigo and dizziness, we commonly see people who have profound vertigo as a result of a tear to the vertebral artery. Carotid artery dissections are also common.

We are in development of a web page on this topic and hope to have it online in the next couple of months.

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447