In January 2014, Elizabeth Smith, a mother of two, had a stroke caused by a visit to the hair salon.
A CT scan revealed that an artery in her neck had been damaged by this shampoo chair and sink at Blowbunny: Blow Dry & Hair Extension Bar in San Diego, according to court documents.
In the medical world, they actually have a term for this: beauty parlor stroke.
While someone’s hair is getting shampooed, the arteries in their neck can get cut or torn due to hyperextension or any whiplash-type motions that happen during a salon visit.
“When one of those cervical arteries is damaged in some sort of way, you can get what’s called a dissection, which is damage of the inside of the blood vessel, leading to abnormal flow and clotting, and then those clots can shoot north into the brain and cause a stroke,” said Steven R. Zeiler, M.D., Ph.D., head of stroke research at Johns Hopkins.
“I was a bit skeptical when she first came in and said she had a stroke two weeks after she had gone in there, and there was no ostensible traumatic event there that seemed like it could be medical causation,” said personal injury attorney Spencer Busby. “When we got into it and saw what the doctors wrote, it was independent, reputable doctors who tied it into this event.”
“I asked every friend I had to check with their stylist, and it came back about 80% [of stylists] knew — not about the mechanism, but knew you could have a stroke getting your hair washed. So I thought, If they all know, this isn’t right,” said Smith.
To prevent future beauty parlor strokes, look for a chair where the neck is adjustable and there’s adequate neck support.
And if you’re ever concerned you’ve had a stroke, go straight to an emergency room.
“Common symptoms are loss of a use of a limb; all of a sudden you get weak on one side of the body; your face begins to droop; you begin to speak like you’re drunk; you might lose vision; the world is spinning around you horizontally or vertically; double vision,” said Zeiler.
This is all too familiar to me connecting the dots after reading Elizabeth’s case.
I lost my mother when I was 6 years old due to a stroke.
But I remember that the time she had the stroke was a couple of hours after she went to the hair salon.
After she washed her hair she actually reported feeling a little bit nauseous, I remember my family speaking about this.
And a couple of hours later she had the stroke.
This idea of the sink probably being the cause for the stroke always lingered in my mind. However, after reading this buzzfeed’s article and the story of Elizabeth it may actually be true.
I know that no one meant or intended for something bad to happen to my mother.
However, a bigger awareness about this so called “beauty parlor stroke” can save lives.
“To put it into perspective, driving your car is probably more dangerous than going to a beauty salon. It’s a very rare thing.” said Zeiler.
But as you can see, it can happen!
The next time you go to your hair salon please be careful!
Put a towel if you need to, so what if you get a little wet…
“They’re teaching techniques so that some people have their hair washed in a different way as opposed to having the neck lay back,” said Busby.
“That makes Elizabeth very happy. One of the things she’s focusing on here is that they’re aware of this danger and take some precautions in the future of it not happening again.”
News Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com;
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