Can a Car Accident Cause a Stroke?

car accident

Car accidents can cause many different types of injuries that can lead to many different types of medical complications. This includes strokes. Medical research has shown that the traumatic effects of car accidents can significantly increase victims’ risk of suffering from strokes in the weeks and months following a collision. If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered a stroke as a result of a car accident, you should speak with a Glendale personal injury attorney promptly.

Medical Research Linking Car Accidents to Strokes

Over the past decade, at least two medical studies have found a causal link between physical trauma and ischemic stroke. As explained by the American Stroke Association (ASA), an ischemic stroke occurs, “when a vessel supplying blood to the brain is obstructed.” This obstruction has the effect of, “reduc[ing] the blood flow and oxygen to the brain, leading to damage or death of brain cells. If circulation isn’t restored quickly, brain damage can be permanent.”

In one study, the American Heart Association (AHA) found that suffering a traumatic injury to the head or neck can significantly increase the risk of stroke in individuals under the age of 50. This includes head and neck injuries suffered in car accidents and other vehicle collisions. As summarized by Science Daily:

“Suffering an injury to the head or neck increases ischemic stroke risk three-fold among trauma patients younger than 50, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2014. . . .

“Researchers studied the health records of 1.3 million patients younger than 50 years who had been treated in emergency trauma rooms. About 11 of every 100,000 patients (145) suffered a stroke within four weeks. Since 2 million patients are seen in U.S. trauma rooms each month, this suggests 214 young people a month have an ischemic stroke after a trauma.”

In another study published in the AHA journal Stroke in 2017, the researchers concluded that:

“Traumatic brain injury (TBI) leads to nearly 300 000 annual US hospitalizations and increased lifetime risk of acute ischemic stroke (AIS). . .

“Ischemic stroke is observed acutely in 2.5% of moderate to severe TBI survivors and predicts worse functional and cognitive outcome.”

So, it is clear that being involved in a car accident can increase your risk of suffering a stroke, perhaps significantly. This is particularly true if you are under the age of 50.

3 Main Causes of Strokes Following Car Accidents

There are three primary ways that traumatic head and neck injuries can lead to a stroke following a vehicle collision. The most common causes of strokes following car accidents are:

1. Whiplash

Despite popular misconceptions that have been perpetuated by movies and TV shows, whiplash is a serious injury that can lead to serious and long-term medical complications. When the neck moves forward upon impact and then quickly snaps back once it reaches full extension, this can cause severe damage to the soft tissue and the arteries inside. It is the damage to the arteries, called “dissection,” that creates an increased risk of ischemic stroke due to a reduction in the oxygen supply to the brain.

2. Brain Hemorrhage (Bleeding in the Brain)

Severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can cause bleeding in the brain; and, among many other potentially-serious effects, this too can lead to an ischemic stroke. This type of TBI is called a hemorrhage, or brain hemorrhage, and it can easily be caused by the extreme forces involved in rear-end accidents and other types of collisions.

3. Disruption of Blood Supply to the Brain

In addition to the dissection of the arteries in the neck due to whiplash, car accidents can result in disruption of the blood supply to the brain in various other ways as well. Due to the risk of stroke (and other complications), all drivers and passengers who experience physical trauma in car accidents should seek medical attention and consult with a Glendale personal injury attorney right away.

Speak with a Glendale Personal Injury Attorney for Free

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with a stroke following a car accident in Glendale? Would you like to find out if you are entitled to financial compensation? To speak with a personal injury for free, call 818-530-1300 or request a consultation online now.

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