Strokes are among the leading causes of death in the United States. Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke, and tragically, every 3.5 minutes, someone dies of a stroke. Thankfully, fewer Americans die of stroke now than in the past due to newer effective treatments and knowledge about warning signs of a stroke, such as a TIA (transient ischemic attack).
Of course,e patient must first be correctly diagnosed to get the treatment a patient needs. Catching a stroke early is important, as some effective treatments must be given within mere hours of symptom onset. Therefore, patients presenting with symptoms indicative of a stroke are dependent upon the medical professionals correctly assessing their symptoms and making the right diagnosis. When healthcare providers fail to do so, it can leave the patient with debilitating long-term injuries, even resulting in the patient’s death.
If you or a loved one believes that you have been the victim of a stroke misdiagnosis, call our medical malpractice lawyers in Maryland and Washington, D.C.
What is a Stroke?
Your brain requires a constant flow of oxygen and nutrients to function. A stroke occurs when your brain does not get the oxygen it needs because blood flow to the brain is stopped or interrupted. When blood flow stops, even for a short period, brain cells can begin to die from a lack of oxygen. Brain function can be lost when brain cells die, resulting in permanent brain damage.
There are two types of stroke— ischemic (blood vessels to the brain are blocked by something) and hemorrhagic (artery in brain leaks or ruptures).
Common stroke symptoms include:
- Paralysis on one side of the body
- Severe headaches
- Weak limbs
- Slurred speech
- Blurred vision
What is a TIA?
A TIA (transient ischemic attack), also called a “mini-stroke” is a warning sign of a future stroke. Even though the symptoms usually only last a few minutes, a TIA is a medical emergency and should be treated as such. Importantly, because TIA symptoms are the same as stroke symptoms, at the onset one cannot know if the symptoms are a TIA or a major stroke.
Dangers of a Stroke Misdiagnosis
Stroke misdiagnosis can be life-threatening. A stroke must be diagnosed and treated quickly to minimize the long-term effects. With a stroke, time lost is brain lost.
When a patient presents with symptoms of a TIA/stroke, the initial evaluation should consist of a careful medical history, a physical examination, an ECG, imaging studies of the brain and neurovascular studies to look for blockages. Failure to do a proper workup can lead to a misdiagnosis.
Some examples of medical errors that result in stroke misdiagnosis include:
- Laboratory mistakes
- Improperly reading tests
- Delayed treatment
- Failure to take a detailed medical history
- Failure to consider a stroke in younger patients or those who look healthy
Some permanent effects of a stroke include:
- Paralysis on the right side of the body
- Speech/language problems
- Slow, cautious behavioral style
- Memory loss
- Paralysis on the left side of the body
- Vision problems
- Quick, inquisitive behavioral style
- Memory loss
You deserve proper compensation if your delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis caused you to suffer severe damage from a stroke. Reach out to The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek today for a free case evaluation.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC 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.