How is Stroke Misdiagnosis Affecting Patients?
Stroke misdiagnosis can cause fatal consequences for patients. Medically, a stroke is defined as a sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen. When a stroke occurs, there is an interruption of blood flow to the brain. This results in abnormal functioning, painful, irreversible symptoms, and can be fatal. The cause of a stroke is usually an artery that ruptures or a blockage in brain vessels.
Misdiagnosis is extremely serious and can result in legal consequences. This Shaked Law Firm article provides insight on preventing stroke misdiagnosis.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Stroke misdiagnosis means that a medical professional was unable to recognize a stroke while it’s occurring or with enough time shortly after the stroke to provide proper treatment. Misdiagnosis also occurs when medical professionals such as nurses fail to recognize the signs of an impending stroke. Thorough medical history of a patient, physical exam, and ultrasounds of the carotid artery help to give doctors a better picture of impending stroke. However, medical intervention must be quick. Missing the signs of a stroke can result in permanent brain damage and fatalities.
What is stroke misdiagnosis?
Stroke misdiagnosis is serious. It means a doctor or other medical professional is ignoring, or refusing to treat, signs of a stroke. Continue reading for the symptoms doctors miss during an active stroke. On the legal side, misdiagnosis comes with expenses that cause a family financial hardship. These expenses include rehabilitation, long term care, and burial expenses. Further compensation may be available if a wrongful death results from a stroke misdiagnosis.
What are the consequences of stroke misdiagnosis?
In stroke misdiagnosis, severe damage occurs. This is due to the time sensitive nature of these medical emergencies. The following are several symptoms of irreversible stroke damage:
- Paralysis (often only on one side)
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Memory loss
- Loss of motor skills
- Changes in mood or behavior
What is a “Transient Ischemic Attack”?
When a patient suffers a “TIA”, or “Transient Ischemic Attack”, they may experience stroke symptoms. However, the symptoms are temporary. These symptoms are known as being “transient”. Ischemic Attacks are important to understand; they’re a warning sign a stroke may occur within a short time. When a patient suffers a stroke, time is of the essence.
Getting a patient to the hospital quickly at the onset of stroke symptoms means treatment is available to stop the damage from progressing. When caught in time, stroke damage may be reversible.
Is having a stroke preventable?
It’s possible that with rapid diagnosis, stroke damage will not be permanent. However, treating and detecting a stroke means recognizing the warning signs. Warning signs can include a TIA, however, they don’t always. Furthermore, medical professionals should take a complete medical history of the patient to best evaluate stroke risk. Also, for patients that are at risk, performing a preemptive ultrasound of the arteries gives doctors a better idea of whether the patient requires monitoring.
What are signs and symptoms of a stroke?
Believe it or not, a stroke can happen to anyone. Young or old, age plays no part in the occurrence of a stroke. Also, even if a person believes “it can’t happen to me!”, never ignore the warning signs.
The warning signs of an impending, or onset of stroke:
- Change of vision
- Difficulty forming words
- Sudden, severe headache
- Loss of strength in the legs (sudden onset)
- Tingling in the limbs
- Numbness or paralysis on one side (hemisphere) of the body
Is compensation available for victims of stroke misdiagnosis?
Medical errors on the part of the doctor are usually responsible for stroke misdiagnosis. This Medical Negligence includes the following scenarios:
- Missing stroke symptoms in otherwise healthy patients
- Ignoring stroke symptoms in younger patients
- Failure to order tests necessary to diagnose a stroke or TIA
- Delaying stroke diagnosis testing
- Lab errors
- Error in the reading of imaging studies
Finally, it’s important for families dealing with a stroke misdiagnosis to seek a lawyer with Medical Malpractice experience. Medical malpractice lawyers assist misdiagnosis victims in seeking maximum compensation for their injuries. They’ve seen hundreds if not thousands of cases to verdict during trial, and receive multi million dollar settlements.