Failure to Diagnose Stroke / Aneurysm
Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States according to the National Stroke Organization. Approximately 800,000 people suffer a stroke each year with more than 140,000 people dying. But did you know up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable? Today there are more than 7 million stroke survivors.
A stroke is often called a “brain attack”. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is suddenly disrupted by either too little blood or too much blood.
There are two types of strokes:
Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying blood to the brain is blocked which results in lack of blood and necessary oxygen getting into the brain. This lack of blood and oxygen causes brain cells to die; and
Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when either a brain aneurysm or a weakened blood vessel leaks blood into the brain. This excess blood creates swelling and pressure which damages cells and tissue in the brain.
Timing is everything. Early detection and immediate treatment can reduce physical and mental damage from a stroke and increase one’s chances of survival. Brain injury from a stroke can affect people in various ways including problems speaking, walking, seeing, thinking, paralysis of arms or legs, sometimes permanent and severe brain damage and even death.
Common signs of a stroke include sudden weakness or numbness of face, arm or leg, sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, sudden problems with vision, sudden trouble walking, loss of balance, lack of coordination, and sudden and severe headache. If you have these types of symptoms call 911 and get to a hospital immediately. The sooner you are diagnosed and treated the better your chance of recovery.
Unfortunately, some stroke victims are misdiagnosed or even go undiagnosed. About 9 percent of patients who present to the emergency department (ED) with stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), or subarachnoid hemorrhage are initially misdiagnosed, according to a new analysis published in the March 29, 2017, online edition of Neurology. Younger people, women and minorities are at greatest risk.
Hospitals, emergency rooms, doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants and other medical professionals can misdiagnose or fail to diagnose strokes. This which may be the result of medical malpractice if the following errors occur:
- Failure to recognize warning stroke signs;
- Failure to consider a stroke in healthy, younger, or elderly patients;
- Patients with wrongly attributed benign symptoms are sent home;
- Delay or failure to timely perform appropriate testing and assessment;
- Lab errors and Improper reading of test results;
- Failure to take or obtain proper and thorough medical history;
- Failure to perform a thorough physical exam;
- Failure to timely consult with a neurological specialist;
- Delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose stroke;
- Delayed treatment, mismanagement of treatment or inadequate medication provided.
Another area of concern after an ischemic stroke is an infection. Some studies have revealed that many patients develop post-stroke infections shortly after acute strokes. While the brain is actually trying to block inflammation, this process also makes a patient highly susceptible to infections, which can lead to prolonged hospital says, brain damage/brain injury, or even death. It is important for healthcare professionals to know the risk factors for post-stroke infections and to diagnose early and provide proper and timely treatment.
Our law firm understands the importance of prompt evaluation, determination of the type of stroke and proper treatment can make the difference between recovery and long-term disability. Tami Wolfe knows failure to diagnose cases are highly complex. She has the experience and has successfully litigated medical malpractice and brain injury claims. She represents clients throughout South Florida including Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Weston and Sunrise.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or death due to a misdiagnosis or failed diagnosis or proper treatment of a stroke contact Tami Wolfe online or call her at (954) 791-0477 for a FREE consultation.