Timely and accurately diagnosing a stroke is crucial. When caring for stroke victims, critical actions must be taken quickly to prevent severe, permanent brain damage, paralysis, or even death. Medical professionals that fail to diagnose a stroke can be liable for medical malpractice. Read on to learn more about strokes and medical malpractice.
Types of Stroke
In general terms, strokes happen when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. The three main types of stroke are:
- Approximately 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes.
- An ischemic stroke happens when there is a blockage of the blood flow in the artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain .
- Blood clots commonly cause the blockages that result in an ischemic stroke.
- A hemorrhagic stroke happens when an artery in the brain leaks blood or ruptures, and the blood damages the brain cells.
- High blood pressure and aneurysms are common conditions that cause a hemorrhagic stroke.
- There are two types of hemorrhagic strokes:
- Intracerebral hemorrhage: most common type of hemorrhagic stroke. It occurs when an artery in the brain bursts, flooding the surrounding tissue with blood.
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage: less common type of hemorrhagic stroke. It refers to bleeding in the area between the brain and the thin tissues that cover it.
Transient ischemic attack (a warning or “mini-stroke”)
- Also referred to as a “mini-stroke” because blood flow to the brain is blocked for only a short time, usually no more than 5 minutes.
- This is almost always a warning sign of a future stroke, and is still a medical emergency. If you or a loved one experiences a transient ischemic attack, you should go seek medical treatment immediately.
- Anywhere from 10% to 15% of people will have a major stroke within 3 months of a transient ischemic attack.
Signs and Symptoms
Doctors are expected to recognize the warning signs or symptoms, so that they can diagnose a stroke. Symptoms can appear gradually or suddenly, including:
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Impaired speech and vision
- Sudden, severe headaches
- Numbness or weakness to one side of the body
Moreover, healthcare professionals should check and recognize any risk factors that indicate the patient has a high chance of a stroke. These can include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Previous strokes
- Family history of stroke
How Doctors Fail to Diagnose a Stroke
In emergency room settings, the doctor may fail to recognize the patient is presenting symptoms of stroke, or not take the time to run thorough examinations to test for a stroke. If an at-risk patient goes in for their regular check-up, their physician may conduct a physical exam and order appropriate blood tests, but fail to warn their patient they demonstrate factors that indicate a likelihood for stroke. It’s vital that doctors take a patient’s medical history, conduct an examination, order the right tests, read the test results correctly, and make an accurate and timely diagnosis.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today
Do you believe that you or your loved one has suffered as a result of medical malpractice or medical neglect? You need to talk to an experienced team of local lawyers today.
The lawyers at Cardaro & Peek, LLC have the experience and resources necessary to investigate and litigate all types of medical claims throughout Maryland and Washington D.C. Cardaro & Peek, LLC has medical personnel on staff and has access to nationally recognized, board-certified physicians and other experts, to assist in the investigation, analysis, and prosecution of all types of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice, give us a call at 410-752-6166. Please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more information.