Maryland Stroke Misdiagnosis Lawyer
Time is critical in diagnosing and treating stroke. Treatment must occur within the first few hours of the onset of the stroke, or medical intervention may be unable to stop the stroke. Resulting injuries and impairment are likely to be permanent if a stroke is not treated quickly and within this narrow window.
An estimated 20 percent of strokes are initially misdiagnosed, and misdiagnosis is particularly common among young adults, women, and minorities. If you or someone you love has suffered prolonged disability, irreparable harm, or even death as a result of a missed or delayed stroke diagnosis, a Maryland stroke misdiagnosis lawyer may be able to assist you in getting compensation for your injuries or losses through a medical malpractice claim.
What is a Stroke?
According to the American Stroke Association, a stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is stopped, either through a blood clot blocking the flow of blood to the brain (ischemic stroke) or through a burst blood vessel causing bleeding of the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). The Association says that stoke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of adult disability.
When a stroke occurs, the affected area of the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, which can cause brain cells to die, resulting in permanent damage and impairment.
When a stroke is diagnosed quickly enough, physicians may be able to use thrombolytic (clot-busting) therapies to remove the clot and restore blood flow or they may be able to repair damaged vessels and stop bleeding on the brain. When a stroke is treated in a timely manner, damage may be minimal. Delayed diagnosis, however, can cause a stroke to be permanently disabling or even fatal. In instances when medical professionals fail to treat a stroke as a result of negligence, a person or their family may want to speak with an experienced stroke misdiagnosis attorney in Maryland to discuss their options and whether they should pursue a claim.
Stroke can occur in both men and women and in people of all ages and ethnicities. However, since stroke primarily affects men over the age of 55, symptoms of stroke are frequently misdiagnosed in women and younger people.
Common stroke symptoms include:
- Sudden, severe headache
- Loss of consciousness or change in alertness
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness, particularly on one side of the face or body
- Sudden vision problems, including double vision or loss of vision
- Difficulty speaking or understanding others
- Sensory changes, including changes in hearing, taste, touch, and the ability to feel pain or pressure
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
Any person presenting to the emergency room complaining of common stroke symptoms should be evaluated for the possibility of stroke, even if they do not meet the typical profile.
When Misdiagnosis Becomes Malpractice
Even in high-pressure emergency room situations, medical caregivers must adhere to protocol in assessing a patient’s symptoms and medical history in order to make the most accurate diagnosis. A misdiagnosis of stroke, heart attack, or other emergency medical condition can have life-threatening results.
Doctors and emergency medical personnel are required to make quick assessments and judgments. However, this does not relieve them of the responsibility to adhere to a professional standard of care in making those assessments to diagnose a patient’s condition.
If a misdiagnosis is the result of substandard care, and a patient suffers harm as a result of the missed or delayed stroke diagnosis, the patient or surviving family members may be able to obtain financial compensation by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit with the assistance of a Maryland stroke misdiagnosis lawyer.
Consulting a Maryland Stroke Misdiagnosis Attorney
If your stroke treatment was delayed as a result of negligent or substandard health care, contact our offices to speak with a Maryland stroke misdiagnosis attorney about your claim. Your initial consultation is free and confidential. Call to find out how we can help.