What if There is a Delayed Diagnosis or a Misdiagnosis of Stroke?

By VSCP LAW

This is one blog in VSPC LAW’s series on understanding strokes. Read on to learn more about the dangers of delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis of stroke.

What is a stroke?

A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, happens when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced. When blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced, the brain tissue cannot get necessary oxygen and nutrients. Strokes can lead to brain damage, disability, and even death.

How can you prevent serious injury from stroke?

A stroke is a medical emergency so prompt action is necessary to prevent serious injury. In fact, early, timely treatment can avoid or reduce brain damage and other serious complications.

What is Delayed Diagnosis of Stroke?

As mentioned, it’s imperative to take early action when a person shows signs of stroke. If the healthcare professional fails to recognize signs of stroke or for any reason delays treatment, the person could suffer otherwise preventable injuries.

A delayed diagnosis of stroke is when the healthcare professional fails to spot the signs of stroke and thus fails to treat the stroke victim with the required urgency. Again, a stroke is when blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced. A healthcare professional should understand the signs of stroke so as to diagnose it in a timely fashion. Doing so will enable that professional to help restore blood flow to the brain. Failure to do so will lead to oxygen and nutrient deprivation in the brain, which can lead to brain damage, disability, and even death.

If a healthcare professional delays diagnosis of stroke, thereby delaying or withholding life saving treatment and disability-preventing treatment, they could be held responsible for medical malpractice.

What is Misdiagnosis of Stroke?

A misdiagnosis of stroke is when the healthcare professional fails to spot the signs of stroke and diagnoses the patient’s condition as something other than stroke. Often healthcare professionals will misdiagnose a stroke as simple gait disturbance, metabolic disorder, seizure, migraine, low blood pressure, dementia, dizziness, dehydration, and other disorders that may share some of the same general symptoms of stroke.

As mentioned in this blog post about preventing strokes, there are several measures healthcare staff can take to determine if a patient is suffering from a stroke, including physical exams, CT scan, MRI scan, etc. Failure to do the correct assessment and/or the correct radiology thus misdiagnosing stroke is a serious medical mistake that results in the stroke patient being denied the urgent lifesaving and disability-preventing treatment they need. Failure to properly diagnose stroke will lead to oxygen and nutrient deprivation in the brain, which can lead to brain damage, disability, and even death.

What Should I Do if I Believe There Was a Delay in Diagnosis or a Misdiagnosis of a Loved One’s Stroke?

A healthcare professional’s delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of stroke could be the result of medical malpractice. The hospital, healthcare professional, doctor, nurse, and/or staff could be held legally responsible for your loved one’s injuries related to their medical negligence.

If you believe there was a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of your loved one’s stroke, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss whether you have the right to sue on your loved one’s behalf for the necessary compensation required to care for your loved one for the rest of his or her life.

If you believe a loved one has suffered injuries from a stroke as the result of a health care provider’s actions or inactions, contact VSCP LAW at www.vscplaw.com.

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