Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Explain Some Important Things You Need To Know About Medical Malpractice And The Failure To Timely Diagnose and Treat Stroke
A failure to diagnose a stroke may amount to medical malpractice under certain circumstances. Here are some important things you need to know if you believe your doctor failed to timely diagnose or treat your stroke.
What is a Stroke?
A stroke happens when the blood supply to a part of the the brain is cut off. When this happens, the brain is deprived of oxygen and brain cells die. When brain cells die, the function served by those brain cells is lost. As a result, stroke victims are at for risk brain damage, paralysis, and even death. There are several different types of stroke including:
Ischemic Stroke, a clot that blocks blood to the brain. This type of stroke represents over 80% of all strokes;
Hemorrhagic stroke, a vessel in the brain that bleeds;
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), an intermittent loss of blood flow over a short period of time. Sometimes referred to as a “mini-stroke”.
There are certain factors that increase your risk of stroke, including:
- Atrial fibrillation;
- Heart disease;
- High blood pressure or cholesterol;
- A family history of strokes.
Strokes can also be caused by medical malpractice. This can happen under many circumstances. Some common examples include: stroke caused by the failure to manage a patient’s airway during surgery; stroke caused by the failure to manage and treat an asthmatic patient’s breathing difficulties while admitted to the hospital; stroke caused by the delay in performing a c-section for a baby in distress during labor and delivery; stroke caused by excessive doses of powerful narcotic medications, like Dilaudid, that can cause a slowed heart rate and brain injury.
Is it Medical Malpractice If My Stroke Was Not Treated in Time?
A doctor’s failure to identify or treat your stroke can be medical malpractice. Standards of care require that a doctor act quickly to recognize and treat stroke. There are some common signs and symptoms of stroke, including:
- Difficulty with speech;
- Paralysis or numbness in the face, arm, or leg;
- Blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes;
- Severe headache along with vomiting; and
- Loss of balance and coordination, such as trouble walking.
If the doctor suspects stroke, it is important to figure out the type of stroke affecting the patient. If a patient is having an ischemic stroke (a blockage), a medication called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) can dissolve a clot and improve blood flow. This medication is effective only when administered within 3 – 4 hours of the first symptoms, and can help a patient recover from a stroke. Doctors can also perform an endovascular procedure called mechanical Thrombectomy, during which the clot is grabbed and removed using a device called a stent retriever.
If the stroke is hemorrhagic, the bleeding type, surgical treatment can stop the bleeding. Sometimes, this type of stroke can be caused by an aneurysm that ruptures. An aneurysm is a weak or bulging part of a blood vessel that can look like a balloon. When this happens a metal clip can be surgically used to stabilize and secure it.
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If you have any questions concerning the failure to diagnose and/or treat a stroke, contact our experienced medical malpractice attorneys by email or calling (800) 762-9300. You can also simply fill out one of our case intake forms, and we will have one of attorneys get right back to you.
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