Misdiagnosis of Strokes in Atlanta, Georgia
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that strokes are the fifth most common cause of fatalities in the United States. on average, about 795,000 people in America have a stroke each year. Strokes can lead to severe long-term disabilities and restricted mobility of survivors. When it comes to preventing a stroke’s most severe consequences, an early diagnosis and early intervention are extremely important. Unfortunately, medical practitioners will sometimes misdiagnose stroke leading to more severe long-term consequences. When a doctor or other medical provider fails to diagnose a stroke, the patient suffers injuries or more severe harm. As a result, that patient may have a claim against the provider. To learn more about your rights to recover compensation following a misdiagnosis of a stroke, contact an Atlanta, Georgia medical malpractice attorney. At The Moses Firm, our attorneys represent individuals who suffered injuries because of negligent or careless medical providers. Call us today at 404-721-1050 to discuss your claim.
Common Symptoms of a Stroke
Symptoms of a stroke vary depending on whether the patient is a man or woman. Both men and women suffer from the following symptoms:
- arm weakness
- drooping face
- vision problems
- difficulty speaking
- a lack of coordination or difficulty walking
- a severe headache that does not have a known cause
Some additional symptoms are common among women. Those include fatigue, nausea and vomiting, disorientation, confusion or memory problems, and general weakness. Experts try to help people understand when they’re having a stroke or whether another person is having a stroke by using the acronym FAST. FAST stands for face, arms, speech, time. The first indication is when a person’s face is drooping, so asking the person to smile to determine whether they identify indications of drooping is a good way to determine if that individual is suffering from a stroke. Asking the individual to raise their arms is another step. If one arm appears to be sagging or weak, that is another sign that the person may be suffering from a stroke. If the individual is speaking in slurred or strange-sounding words, that is another factor that may indicate the person is suffering from a stroke. Time is also included as a reminder that prompt action is imperative when it comes to treating a stroke.
Of the different types of strokes, the most common is an ischemic stroke. These occur when a blood vessel or artery is blocked and prevents the supply of blood from reaching the brain. These account for approximately eight out of ten strokes. Embolic strokes are one type of ischemic stroke that involves a blood clot formed somewhere else in the body and broke free, eventually cutting off blood supply to the brain. Venous strokes take place when a blood clot blocks a vein and prevents blood from draining from the brain. These strokes occur because of the pressure that the blockage causes. Hemorrhagic strokes result from bleeding in the brain, and cerebral hemorrhages are caused by a blood vessel that is bleeding within the brain. Bleeding in the brain can cause a clot to form, putting pressure on the brain and resulting in damage. These strokes are less common but are also more severe and more likely to result in fatal injuries.
Why are Strokes Misidentified?
If a patient arrives in an emergency room or other medical facility, there are certain steps that providers should take to determine whether the patient is suffering from a stroke. Sometimes the patient will complain of migraine headaches, which can be a sign of a stroke. Getting a proper medical history for the patient, including what medications they are taking, whether they have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, smoking, diabetes, or other health factors that could increase their risk levels is important for determining whether that patient may be suffering from a stroke. There are also diagnostic tests, including blood tests, CT or MRI scans, and other methods that can help a doctor diagnose a stroke. Sadly, studies indicate that doctors often overlook the early indications of a possible stroke leading to those individuals suffering more severe consequences. Patients who complained of headaches and dizziness were often misdiagnosed with inner ear infections, migraines, or other minor medical concerns. Statistics indicate the doctors are more likely to misdiagnose women and minorities. The reasons doctors sometimes misdiagnose individuals suffering from strokes include a failure to properly obtain the patient’s medical history and risk factors, failure to administer the proper diagnostic tests, misinterpreting the results of tests, and failing to identify the stroke as opposed to another similar medical condition.
Filing a Claim After the Misdiagnosis of a Stroke
Unfortunately, the damage done by a misdiagnosed stroke can result in permanent injuries to the patient. Time is incredibly important when it comes to preventing long-term damage resulting from a stroke. A misdiagnosis will cost a patient precious time in treating their stroke. If a doctor misdiagnoses a person’s stroke and the result is that the individual suffers severe injuries, that patient likely has a claim for medical malpractice. A successful claim will result in compensation for the patient’s medical expenses related to the misdiagnosis, future medical costs, lost wages, future lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
Call the Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorneys at The Moses Firm Today
At The Moses Firm, our attorneys are dedicated to representing individuals who suffer injuries due to medical malpractice. Call us today at 404-721-1050 for a consultation with an experienced Atlanta, Georgia, medical malpractice attorney.