When considering the variety of catastrophic and life-changing injuries you might suffer in a motor vehicle accident, whiplash is typically far down the list. Still, whiplash is not pleasant, often leaving individuals with long-term pain and mobility issues.
Whiplash is a neck injury resulting from rapid back-and-forth movement of the head. In minor cases, the injury includes damage to muscles and connective tissues. In much more serious ones, though, whiplash can cause a person to suffer a stroke.
The connection between whiplash and stroke
To survive, your brain needs a continuous supply of oxygenated blood. Oxygenated blood, of course, pumps from your lungs through the carotid artery in your neck and into your brain. Your carotid artery is the major artery on the side of your neck.
Alarmingly, severe whiplash can damage your carotid artery, potentially leaving your brain without sufficient blood supply and oxygen. If that happens, you can have a stroke.
The dangerous nature of strokes
A stroke is not something anyone should treat cavalierly, as a stroke can cause permanent brain damage and disability. Even worse, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every eight strokes is fatal.
The longer you wait to receive medical care, the greater chance you have of suffering a long-term brain injury or death. Therefore, you should call 911 immediately if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Difficulties speaking, including trouble finding words or slurred speech
- Facial numbness or paralysis
- Muscular weakness, especially in your arms
- Loss of consciousness
- Confusion or disorientation
Ultimately, even though getting treatment for your stroke is likely to be expensive, you might be eligible for substantial financial costs to help you pay for the care you deserve.