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Bill of Rights for stroke-related condition

The executive board of the National Aphasia Association has drawn up a Bill of Rights designed to minimize the isolation and frustration commonly experienced by people with the condition.

Aphasia impairs a patient’s ability to speak, read, write or understand others, but does not affect intelligence. According to the National Aphasia Association, it affects anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of stroke survivors and stroke is the most common cause.

Strokes are frequently caused by blood clots breaking off and traveling to the brain. According to the Mayo Clinic, risk factors for blood clots include a family history of clots, long periods of immobility, pregnancy and use of birth control pills.

While most birth control pills can increase the risk of blood clots, numerous studies indicate that pills containing the compound drospirenone carry up to three times the risk compared to other oral contraceptives on the market. Pills with drospirenone include Yasmin, Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella.

The Association asserts that people with aphasia have the right to:

1. Be told, as soon as it is determined, preferably by a qualified speech-language pathologist (SLP), both orally and in writing, that they have “aphasia” and given an explanation of the meaning of aphasia.

2. Be provided, upon release from the hospital, with written documentation that “aphasia” is part of their diagnosis.

3. Be told, both orally and in writing, that there are local resources available to them, including Aphasia Community Groups in their areas, as well as national organizations such as the National Aphasia Association (NAA).

4. Have access to outpatient therapy to the extent deemed appropriate by a qualified speech-language pathologist (SLP).

5. Give their informed consent in any research project in which they are participating.

6. Demand that accrediting health care agencies and health care facilities establish requirements for and competency in caring for people with aphasia.

7. Have access to information in their most functional language through a qualified professional, or through an interpreter and/or printed material, and access to culturally sensitive services when the person with aphasia speaks a language different from English and/or is from an ethnically/culturally diverse background.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries.

Get more information on aphasia here: