One of the most serious complications of a Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex catheter malfunction is a hemorrhagic stroke–commonly known as a brain bleed. A brain bleed occurs when blood begins bleeding into the brain, usually as the result of a weakened blood vessel rupturing. The bleeding creates pressure in the brain which can damage brain cells and result in diminished or complete loss of function in the impacted area of the brain.
A hemorrhagic stroke is one of the injuries linked to the Penumbra Jet 7 Xtra Flex Catheter. The primary defect of the Penumbra Jet 7 is that the distal tip of the catheter can expand or balloon while inside a blood vessel. If the catheter balloons during a procedure it can become multiple times the size of the blood vessel and cause the blood vessel to burst. The bursting of the blood vessel may cause a hemorrhagic stroke to occur.
Emergency Treatment of Hemorrhagic Strokes
The goal of emergency treatments for hemorrhagic strokes is to control the bleeding and reduce the pressure on the brain caused by the extra blood. Emergency treatments include:
- Drugs or transfusions to counteract effects of any blood-thinning medications a patient may be taking to prevent blood clots, reduce the pressure on the brain, lower blood pressure, prevent blood vessel spasms, and reduce the probability of seizures;
- Surgical removal of the blood and reduction of pressure on the brain;
- Surgical clipping to place a clamp at the base of aneurysm to stop the blood flow;
- Endovascular embolization utilizing a catheter inserted into an artery in the patient’s groin, guided to the brain, and used to place tiny detachable coils into the aneurysm to block the blood flow and make the blood clot;
- Surgical AVM (arteriovenous malformation) removal to close an abnormal connection between blood vessels in order to prevent bleeding and rupture; and
- Stereotactic radiosurgery using multiple beams of radiation to repair blood vessel malformations in a minimally invasive way.
Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex Catheter Resource Center
What Happens After a Hemorrhagic Stroke?
Devastatingly, hemorrhagic strokes have a 51% to 65% mortality rate depending on the location of the bleeding in the brain. Of the patients who do survive the stroke, only 20% are expected to be independent within six months. The journey to recovery of any sort from a hemorrhagic stroke is long and arduous.
According to the National Stroke Association, 10% of people who have a stroke recover completely, and 25% recover with minor impairments. Almost 40% of people who have a stroke experience moderate to severe impairments which require special treatment to regain daily function at work or in personal life. Approximately 10% of patients require long-term care in a nursing home or other similar facility.
Rehabilitative Care After a Hemorrhagic Stroke
Stroke care focuses on helping patients regain as much function as possible in order to eventually return to living as independently as possible. However, it can be difficult to determine early on the amount of stroke care required since the impact of the stroke is determined by the area of the brain involved and the amount of tissue that was damaged.
If the right side of the brain is harmed, movement and sensation on the left side of the body may be impacted. If the stroke damages the left side of the brain, movement and sensation on the right side of the body may be affected. Harm to the left side of the brain may also result in speech and language disorders.
Rehabilitation occurs both at the hospital and once a patient is discharged. After discharge, rehabilitation will continue at one of the following locations:
- Rehabilitation unit in the same hospital
- Skilled nursing home separate from the hospital
- Patient’s home
Members of a patient’s stroke care team may include:
- Doctor trained in brain conditions (neurologist)
- Rehabilitation doctor (physiatrist)
- Rehabilitation nurse
- Physical therapist
- Occupational therapist
- Recreational therapist
- Speech pathologist
- Social worker or case manager
- Psychologist or psychiatrist
Skill Recovery After Hemorrhagic Stroke
Strokes are considered to be a leading cause of serious long-term disability due to the probability of causing significant impairment in language, cognition, motor, and sensory skills. The goal of stroke rehabilitation is to improve skills that were lost as a result of the stroke.
A stroke can cause a language impairment known as aphasia which creates general difficulty with speaking such as struggling to find the right words and challenges in speaking in full sentences. These issues can occur if the muscles that control speech were damaged in the stroke. Speech and language therapists can help to improve speech and language skills. If the damage is too severe to improve speaking skills, therapists can assist in developing other ways of communicating.
Strokes can also inhibit thinking and reasoning abilities, lead to poor judgment, and cause memory and behavioral problems. Occupational therapists and speech and language therapists can assist in recovering these skills and help ensure that the patient’s home is a safe environment.
A stroke can weaken the muscles on one side of the body and restrict joint movement. This results in decreased coordination and often makes walking difficult or leads to muscle spasms. Physical therapists can help patients learn how to balance and strengthen muscles again.
Additionally, decreased sensory skills caused by strokes can decrease the body’s ability to feel sensory inputs such as heat, cold, or pressure. Therapists can work to help patients adjust to these changes as well.
Other complications that may also need to be treated include loss of bladder and bowel control, difficulty swallowing, and depression.
GoldenbergLaw Can Help
If you or a loved one suffered a hemorrhagic stroke from a procedure where a Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex catheter was used, contact the Stroke and Brain Bleed Attorneys at GoldenbergLaw today for a free consultation. With over thirty years of experience, we will help you get the justice you deserve.