Blood carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or significantly reduced, which is typically due to a blood clot, otherwise known as a thrombus, blocking the artery. Because the brain is so important in all the body’s functioning, brain damage can lead to long-term disability. A stroke is a medical emergency, but with the correct treatment, the victim may be able to regain movement and cognitive function.
- Ischemic strokes occur when a thrombus blocks an artery or blood vessel in the brain, which interrupts the blood flow, causing brain cell and tissue damage within minutes.
- Embolic strokes are a type of ischemic stroke where the thrombus has started somewhere else in the body but became loose and then traveled to the brain.
- Hemorrhagic strokes, also called cerebral hemorrhage, make up approximately 13 percent of all stroke cases. They are caused by weakened blood vessels bursting and bleeding in the brain.
- A stroke can also be caused by surgical errors. These are caused by poor reconstruction of the artery or shunt placement.
Our team establishes negligence so that there is no doubt who is liable. All it takes is one medical malpractice case to ruin a medical professional’s career, so they take out medical malpractice insurance to protect themselves. Therefore, when you are considering legal action against a physician, you should speak to one of our Pittsburgh, PA personal injury attorneys about your case. We have recovered over $250 million for our clients and have the resources and experience to win your medical malpractice case.
Can a Stroke be Misdiagnosed?
Misdiagnosis of a stroke often occurs in emergency rooms, especially when patients present with mild symptoms, or comorbid symptoms, such as headache, nausea, and vertigo. An analysis published in March 2017 reported that approximately 9 percent of patients who showed up to emergency rooms with stroke, transient ischemic attack, or subarachnoid hemorrhage are initially misdiagnosed. It was also found that stroke is the fourth most common misdiagnosis among major diagnostic errors.
Why Do Doctors Misdiagnose or Delay Diagnosis of Stroke?
Stroke misdiagnosis often occurs because medical professionals did not take the proper steps, check the medical history, or take the time to come to a correct diagnosis. It is up to each medical professional to review their patients’ medical records and know their risks for stroke, even if the victim doesn’t fit within the typical profile of a high-risk patient. Young people are often overlooked when they have a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), otherwise known as a “mini-stroke.” Individuals in their 30s or 40s can suffer from a mini-stroke, but doctors often fail to diagnose strokes in patients that young.
Patients at high risk of developing a stroke should also be considered as candidates for wearable devices that can detect a stroke. Medical devices such as volumetric impedance phase-shift spectroscopy (VIPS) can detect severe stroke with up to 93% accuracy. When doctors fail to prescribe these life-saving devices, that may constitute a form of medical negligence.
The Dangers of Stroke Misdiagnosis
A stroke misdiagnosis means that the patient is not treated in a timely manner, which can result in temporary or permanent disabilities including but not limited to:
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty writing, reading, or understanding others
- Loss of motor control
- Loss of balance
- Loss of fine motor skills
- The addition of physical sensations such as a sudden tingling feeling or sharp pain
- In the most egregious cases, a misdiagnosed stroke leads to wrongful death
Endovascular therapy is a treatment to restore blood flow within minutes after a stroke. Doctors place a catheter in the brain and then remove the clot, but it is important to do the surgery within 6 to 8 hours of the first stroke symptoms. However, a delayed diagnosis or stroke misdiagnosis can put stroke victims outside of this critical window.
Why You Need a Stroke Misdiagnosis Lawyer
If your Pittsburgh stroke misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis led to you suffering greater harm from your stroke, then you need to speak to a Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorney immediately. We prove medical negligence so that you get the compensation you deserve. The compensation that you could receive for the failure to diagnose your stroke is for the following damages:
- Economic damages: These are financial losses such as medical expenses, your inability to work, your future inability to work, physical therapy, and rehabilitation that you or your loved one may require
- Non-economic damages: These include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life
The insurance company for your physician or the hospital will hire a team of attorneys who will argue that you should receive less than you deserve in your settlement, or that you don’t deserve any compensation at all. If you try to represent yourself, then you won’t have access to medical experts necessary to provide the testimony you need to win your medical malpractice case.
The attorneys representing the negligent physician may go so far as to say that even if they failed to diagnose your stroke, the stroke was inevitable and there was nothing that anyone would have been able to do about it. At Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky, P.C., we have seen these arguments against Pittsburgh, PA stroke victims and we will leave no stone unturned when fighting for you to get the compensation you deserve. Call us at (412) 471-8500 to schedule your consultation.