Doctors Are Failing to Diagnose Strokes at an Alarming
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:
What Are the Symptoms of a Stroke?
Symptoms of a stroke come on suddenly. They include:
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
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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