Podcast

Stroke Misdiagnosis Lawsuits

Doctors Are Failing to Diagnose Strokes at an Alarming Rate ― Putting Patients at Risk for Severe Health Consequences

Every 40 seconds someone is the U.S suffers from a stroke, with a stroke-related death occurring every 4 minutes. All told, about 800,000 people in the U.S. suffer a stroke each year, with more than 140,000 people dying. Strokes are the No. 5 cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of serious disability for adults.

Yet, doctors fail to correctly diagnose strokes at an alarming rate, putting patients at risk for severe health consequences. One study found that 9 percent of strokes are initially misdiagnosed in the emergency department, particularly when patients present with symptoms such as headache, vertigo, and nausea, which have many different causes.

What Is a Stroke?

Simply stated, a stroke is a sudden interruption in blood flow to the brain. There are two major kinds of strokes:

  • Ischemic, which is caused by a blockage of blood vessels in the neck or brain, most often caused by a blood clot or severe narrowing of the blood vessels.
  • Hemorrhagic, which is caused by a blood vessel in the brain that breaks and bleeds into the brain.

What Are the Symptoms of a Stroke?

Symptoms of a stroke come on suddenly. They include:

  • Numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headache with no known cause

Why Do Doctors Fail to Correctly Diagnose Strokes?

Stroke diagnoses are delayed in some cases because initial symptoms can be non-specific and the onset of symptoms can appear at varying times across patients. Some patients experience symptoms ― such as weakness, confusion, poor coordination and difficulty speaking — within minutes, which makes the correct diagnosis clearer to doctors. However, when a patient experiences the onset of these symptoms over a period of hours or days, they are more likely to be misdiagnosed.

Doctors sometimes misdiagnose strokes as migraines, vertigo and alcohol intoxication.

Timely Diagnosis Is Critical

A stroke is a medical emergency. The quicker doctors accurately diagnose and treat it, the better the patient’s outcome is likely to be. Two million brain cells die every minute during a stroke, which puts a patient at risk for permanent brain damage, disability or death. Treatment within three hours of symptoms improves the chances of recovery with little or no disability.

Treatment will vary depending upon what type of stroke a patient has. Treatment of ischemic strokes entails restoring blood flow to the brain. Treatment of hemorrhagic strokes entails controlling the bleeding and reducing the pressure in the brain caused by the excess fluid.

Trial Lawyers for Life’s Most Challenging Moments

For more than 30 years, the attorneys at Feldman Shepherd have achieved record-breaking results in medical malpractice lawsuits for patients and their families who have been harmed when medical practitioners misdiagnose strokes and other serious conditions. We are one of a small number of law firms that includes in our ranks an emergency medicine doctor/board certified family practitioner and two nurses all of whom are lawyers, and we additionally consult with preeminent medical experts to give us a deep understanding of the medical issues you face and to inform our litigation strategy.

If you need help following a doctor’s failure to properly diagnose and treat a stroke, you can count on the Feldman Shepherd team to help secure all of the compensation to which you are entitled, including compensation for your pain and suffering, financial losses, emotional distress, and medical expenses, while keeping you fully informed as to every step of your medical malpractice case.

Doctors Are Failing to Diagnose Strokes at an Alarming Rate ― Putting Patients at Risk for Severe Health Consequences

Every 40 seconds someone is the U.S suffers from a stroke, with a stroke-related death occurring every 4 minutes. All told, about 800,000 people in the U.S. suffer a stroke each year, with more than 140,000 people dying. Strokes are the No. 5 cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of serious disability for adults.

Yet, doctors fail to correctly diagnose strokes at an alarming rate, putting patients at risk for severe health consequences. One study found that 9 percent of strokes are initially misdiagnosed in the emergency department, particularly when patients present with symptoms such as headache, vertigo, and nausea, which have many different causes.

What Is a Stroke?

Simply stated, a stroke is a sudden interruption in blood flow to the brain. There are two major kinds of strokes:

  • Ischemic, which is caused by a blockage of blood vessels in the neck or brain, most often caused by a blood clot or severe narrowing of the blood vessels.
  • Hemorrhagic, which is caused by a blood vessel in the brain that breaks and bleeds into the brain.

What Are the Symptoms of a Stroke?

Symptoms of a stroke come on suddenly. They include:

  • Numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headache with no known cause

Why Do Doctors Fail to Correctly Diagnose Strokes?

Stroke diagnoses are delayed in some cases because initial symptoms can be non-specific and the onset of symptoms can appear at varying times across patients. Some patients experience symptoms ― such as weakness, confusion, poor coordination and difficulty speaking — within minutes, which makes the correct diagnosis clearer to doctors. However, when a patient experiences the onset of these symptoms over a period of hours or days, they are more likely to be misdiagnosed.

Doctors sometimes misdiagnose strokes as migraines, vertigo and alcohol intoxication.

Timely Diagnosis Is Critical

A stroke is a medical emergency. The quicker doctors accurately diagnose and treat it, the better the patient’s outcome is likely to be. Two million brain cells die every minute during a stroke, which puts a patient at risk for permanent brain damage, disability or death. Treatment within three hours of symptoms improves the chances of recovery with little or no disability.

Treatment will vary depending upon what type of stroke a patient has. Treatment of ischemic strokes entails restoring blood flow to the brain. Treatment of hemorrhagic strokes entails controlling the bleeding and reducing the pressure in the brain caused by the excess fluid.

Trial Lawyers for Life’s Most Challenging Moments

For more than 30 years, the attorneys at Feldman Shepherd have achieved record-breaking results in medical malpractice lawsuits for patients and their families who have been harmed when medical practitioners misdiagnose strokes and other serious conditions. We are one of a small number of law firms that includes in our ranks an emergency medicine doctor/board certified family practitioner and two nurses all of whom are lawyers, and we additionally consult with preeminent medical experts to give us a deep understanding of the medical issues you face and to inform our litigation strategy.

If you need help following a doctor’s failure to properly diagnose and treat a stroke, you can count on the Feldman Shepherd team to help secure all of the compensation to which you are entitled, including compensation for your pain and suffering, financial losses, emotional distress, and medical expenses, while keeping you fully informed as to every step of your medical malpractice case.

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