A Louisville Medical Malpractice Attorney Discusses Stroke Diagnosis & Medical Negligence
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and an estimated 795,000 people suffer a stroke in America each year. It is one of the most serious and deadly medical events possible, and yet strokes are misdiagnosed at a shocking rate, especially among the very young and very old.
Just as with heart attacks and embolisms, it is imperative to diagnose and treat a stroke as soon as possible after it occurs. Failing to diagnose and treat a stroke can cause serious complications, including coma and death. If a stroke is not diagnosed quickly and treated correctly, a person’s chances of a complete recovery, or of survival, diminish significantly.
If you have suffered from a negligent healthcare provider’s failure to accurately or timely diagnose a stroke, you may have reason to file a Kentucky medical malpractice lawsuit. To find out more about your case, and to ask questions about medical malpractice law, we invite you to call our offices today at (800) 991-0474. Seth Gladstein offers free, private consultations.
Symptoms and Signs of a Stroke
Cerebrovascular accidents, commonly known as strokes, happen when the blood supply to the brain is inadequate or blocked. A patient can suffer from a stroke for many reasons, including lack of blood to the brain (ischemia), leakage of blood in the brain (hemorrhage), or blockage in blood vessels of the brain (thrombosis or embolism). A stroke usually affects many systems of the body and can be fatal, if healthcare providers don’t work quickly and efficiently to help the victim.
The signs and symptoms of a stroke include:
- Inability to speak or understand speech
- Headache that is sudden and severe
- Numbness in the face, leg, or arm, which is commonly one-sided
- Problems when walking or moving about
When a patient has these signs and symptoms, it is healthcare personnel’s responsibility to do a thorough examination of the patient, including investigating his or her medical history. In addition, the patient should undergo diagnostic tests and have lab work performed. Treatment should be immediately administered to stroke victims. If treatment is delayed or misdiagnosed, complications can occur that could be deadly, or leave the patient with physical, mental, and emotional issues that could last a lifetime.
How Stroke Misdiagnosis Happens
Stroke misdiagnosis is common for a number of reasons; for example, a stroke can look like something as minor as a headache, and may be dismissed by a negligent doctor. Stroke misdiagnosis is more common among the young, who don’t regularly experience stroke, and among the very old, who may not be able to explain their symptoms (or who may have other medical issues that complicate diagnosis). In addition, a study from Johns Hopkins University found that emergency room doctors are up to 30 percent more likely to overlook signs of stroke in women and minorities.
In many cases, a stroke misdiagnosis takes place because of:
- Failure to perform the correct diagnostic tests.
- Failure to correctly perform or analyze the diagnostic tests related to stroke.
- Failure to recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke.
- Failure to correctly treat the patient after diagnosis.
- Hospital staff who are not properly trained or inadequate hospital staff.
The Consequences of Stroke Misdiagnosis
A stroke causes a lack of oxygen in the brain. As you might imagine, this means that even seconds count when evaluating and treating a patient, and that any delay could affect a patient’s future ability to move, speak, or think. The complications from misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a stroke include:
- Changes in behavior
- Loss of memory
- Mental disorders, such as depression
- Cognitive deficits
- Trouble swallowing or speaking
- Loss of use of an extremity, such as an arm, leg, or foot
- Severe brain injury
Gladstein Law Firm: Help For Kentucky Medical Malpractice Victims
If you, a friend, or family member has suffered from an undiagnosed or misdiagnosed stroke, you may deserve compensation and justice for all that you have endured. Kentucky medical malpractice attorney Seth Gladstein has extensive experience with misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis cases, and can help you with your claim every step of the way – from determining if negligence was a factor in your case, to collecting the evidence that you need to prove who was at fault.
Gladstein Law Firm offers free, no-obligation consultations to the victims of stroke misdiagnosis and their families. To request and schedule your meeting, please call us today at (502) 855-4177 or toll-free at (800) 991-0474. You may also fill out the contact information form on our website. We will reply within 24 hours and help answer your questions about your case, your rights, and your award.
*Each case is different and the past record is no assurance that we will be successful in reaching a favorable result in any future case. Client pays costs only upon recovery.