Woman’s stroke symptoms mistaken for ear infection when she goes to emergency room with dizziness and tingling
Danielle Lance, 34, had a stroke in January 2022 after battling double ear infections.
Doctors thought her dizziness was caused by an ear infection – until her right side went numb.
Loss of balance, facial drooping, and numbness in the hands can signal a possible stroke.
Danielle Lance, a paramedic and mother of four, was recovering from a painful double ear infection when her symptoms worsened.
According to reports, the 34-year-old woke up dizzy after a long shift at the end of January WakeMed Voices, a blog associated with a hospital system in Raleigh, North Carolina.
That dizzy feeling persisted the next day, when Lance woke up unable to move her right side. At WakeMed’s emergency department, she felt weak and had trouble speaking. Soon the triage nurse recognized the signs of a possible stroke.
Signs of a stroke may include sudden loss of balance or coordination, eye or vision changes, face drooping, numbness or weakness of the arms, and slurred speech. Any of these symptoms should indicate that it’s time to call 911, filling out the stroke sign acronym, “BE FAST.”
Stroke symptoms they may not always be obvious, as ear infections have some common symptoms. Dizziness, vertigo, and nausea can be caused by a stroke, ear infection, or a number of other illnesses, according to WakeMed.
However, prompt diagnosis and treatment of a stroke can make a big difference in a patient’s eventual recovery.
She was numb on one side and had difficulty walking
After waking up that morning in January, Lance said she felt dizzy all day. Soon her right side is tingling and it is difficult to walk. Her husband took her to a nearby emergency room, where doctors sent her home with a diagnosis of a cold and an ear infection – which she already knew about.
The next morning, Lance said she couldn’t move her right side. She returned to the emergency room, this time at the WakeMed Raleigh campus, and was admitted with the help of hospital staff.
When the nurse recognized it as Lance’s symptoms can be stroke, the care team jumped into action to diagnose and treat her. They ordered a CT scan and quickly diagnosed her with an ischemic stroke, which occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off.
A stroke can happen when a blood clot travels to the brain from somewhere else in the body, or from spontaneous bleeding in the brain, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, heart disease, smoking, and taking certain medications, such as birth control pills.
She recovered well with physical therapy
Within an hour, Lance was wheeled into surgery to stop the stroke. Doctors removed a blood clot from her brain, which is just one way to treat a stroke.
In other cases, a stroke may be treated with blood-thinning drugs, or the clot may go away on its own.
The young mother needed a month and a half of speech, occupational and physical therapy to recover. According to WakeMed, Lance was able to return to work in July — a month earlier than expected — because of her rapid progress.
She said her right hand did paralyzed by a stroke, is still somewhat weak compared to the left. She sometimes has trouble opening and carrying things, and her speech and short-term memory are not what they were before the stroke, she added.
Still, Lance said she’s grateful to be back at work and keeping up with her family.
Read the original article at Insider
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