Stroke Misdiagnosis During Hospital Stays

One in every ten stroke cases is misdiagnosed in the US. Stroke symptoms can often be miscategorized as symptoms of other conditions, which leads doctors and hospital staff to overlook the warning signs of an impending stroke. Patients hospitalized for other conditions are also at risk of stroke if vital signs aren’t properly assessed, such as body temperature, blood pressure, and dehydration. Learn more about stroke misdiagnosis claims below.

Stroke: Diagnosis and Symptoms

Strokes occur when the brain suddenly doesn’t receive enough oxygen. This can happen when a blood clot prevents air and blood flow to the brain or causes hemorrhaging in the brain. The brain loses millions of neurons every minute oxygen flow to the brain is limited, making immediate and adequate care essential to minimizing a stroke’s effects. Strokes can cause serious long-term health effects, such as paralyzation, brain damage, and death.

Impending strokes come with a wide range of symptoms, including:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Vertigo
  • Speech difficulties and slurred speech
  • Numbness in the face, arms, or legs
  • Confusion
  • Inability to understand others
  • Balance issues
  • Difficulty walking
  • Blurry or reduced vision

A Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), also known as a “mini-stroke,” has similar symptoms to a full stroke. TIA warning signs are often missed as the symptoms aren’t as severe as an impending stroke. However, over 50% of people who suffer a mini-stroke will later have a full stroke.

What’s Expected of Doctors to Diagnose Strokes Properly?

Every second counts when treating someone for a stroke. Swift medical treatment helps minimize the long-term brain damage a stroke can cause. Hospital staff, including doctors and nurses, are required to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and provide treatment to prevent or stop the stroke from worsening. Doctors should examine a patient’s prior medical history, perform physical exams, order tests, and accurately read lab results and imaging scans to ensure no underlying issues may increase a patient’s stroke risk.

Stroke symptoms often mimic those of other medical conditions and medication side effects, which is why hospital staff can miss the signs of a patient’s impending stroke. This can lead to catastrophic results when a patient has a stroke that could have been prevented with proper medical care.

Proving a Doctor’s Negligence

Medical negligence is when a doctor or hospital staff member fails to provide industry-accepted medical care or fails to make proper decisions regarding a patient’s healthcare. This could include failing to provide timely and accurate diagnoses, disregarding symptoms or risk factors, or failing to treat the condition accurately. Even if the proper tests were performed, doctors could be liable if they failed to interpret the results accurately. Proving doctor negligence is difficult, so it’s essential to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can help you understand the details of your case.

Filing a Claim After a Stroke Misdiagnosis

Stroke malpractice cases are challenging to prove in court, which is why it’s helpful to hire an attorney experienced in these types of cases. To file a claim against a hospital for failing to recognize the symptoms and signs of an impending stroke, you’ll need to provide evidence and testimony from hospital staff that potential warning signs were overlooked and that medical staff breached their duty to care for their patients.

Help For Stroke Victims: Badgley Law Group

Strokes come with many long-term health effects that can impact daily living for a lifetime. Stroke recovery is expensive and includes the costs of hospital stays, medication, rehabilitation, and medical expenses. If you or a loved one suffered a stroke during a hospital stay that you believe was caused by the hospital’s failure to provide adequate care, you may be able to receive compensation to help offset the costs of treatment. Call us at 407-781-0420 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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