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Delayed diagnosis: Stroke malpractice

On Behalf of Cronin & Maxwell

Strokes are serious medical catastrophes. When a blood vessel is blocked or bursts, the brain cannot get the oxygen it needs, resulting in brain cell death. When a doctor fails to diagnose a medical condition that could lead to a stroke, or do not realize that a stroke occurred, they may be liable for the outcome.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability. What are types of strokes, how are they missed by doctors and what effect does it have on the patient?

Types of strokes

There are two types of strokes that one can endure, including:

  • Ischemic: The most common type of stroke, when blood flow to the brain is obstructed.
  • Hemorrhagic: When a blood vessel flowing to the brain bursts.

Preventable, misdiagnosed and undiagnosed strokes

Taking the correct steps to prevent a possible stroke is important. However, doctors can also miss the signs of a stroke or misdiagnose a stroke, which can be devastating for a patient. Many doctors send patients home that are experiencing stroke symptoms, as they are misdiagnosed, or the doctors do not realize that a stroke has occurred.

Signs of a stroke include:

  • Headache
  • Numbness in arm or leg, or both
  • Vision trouble
  • Speech trouble
  • Confusion

Effects of a stroke

There are severe long-term consequences of an undiagnosed or misdiagnosed stroke, including:

  • Inability to control muscles, causing speech deficit or mobility problems
  • Fatigue
  • Drop foot
  • Reduced stamina
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Stiff/ tight muscles

It is possible for individuals who have suffered a stroke to improve with physical therapy or a care aide. However, depending on the severity of the stroke and how long it goes untreated, a victim could suffer dire long-term consequences.

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