A stroke occurs when a blood vessel to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood it needs, and brain cells begin to die. Stroke is the leading cause of long-term – and preventable – disability and one of the top five causes of death in the United States killing nearly 130,000 people annually.
When recognized and treated quickly, the damage caused by a stroke can be reduced or avoided, and the likelihood of survival and recovery are significantly improved. Failure to diagnose a stroke can lead to avoidable brain injury or death. If you or someone you love has suffered from a botched stroke diagnosis, call the Denver medical malpractice attorneys at 303-792-5595 as soon as possible or fill out a Free Case Evaluation form here.
There are a few different types of stroke, including:
- Transient ischemic attack, often called a mini-stroke, this resolves on its own, usually in less than half an hour, but also could indicate a more serious stroke will follow. These temporary clots are considered as warning signs.
- Ischemic strokes account for nearly 90 percent of all strokes and are the result of a clot blocking the blood flow to the brain.
- Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by a weakened blood vessel rupturing in the brain. The blood spilled into the brain accumulates and compresses brain tissue, killing brain cells. These are normally caused by high blood pressure, but can also be the result of an aneurysm.
All types of strokes have the same symptoms, including:
- Weakness, heaviness, numbness, or paralysis of the face, arm or leg, often on one side of the body.
- Difficulty speaking or finding words.
- Difficulty understanding speech.
- Sudden, unexplained, severe headache.
- Sudden loss of vision or change of vision such as dimness, blurriness, or double vision in one or both eyes.
- Dizziness, loss of balance, loss of coordination, or difficulty walking.
When doctors and other health care providers encounter stroke symptoms in a patient, they should inquire about risk factors for stroke, according to the American Stroke Association:
- Prior stroke or heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Lack physical activity
- Carotid artery disease
- Atrial fibrillation
- Peripheral artery disease
- High blood cholesterol
- Sickle cell anemia
- Family history of stroke
When a stroke is overlooked, victims are sent home untreated or might be treated for a condition they do not have. Precious time is lost and irreversible damage, additional stroke, or death can result. You need to contact a Colorado medical malpractice lawyer quickly if your systems were misdiagnosed.
There are several reasons a medical provider may misdiagnose a stroke, such as:
- Inadequate evaluation of medical history.
- Failure to inquire about risk factors when stroke symptoms are present.
- Assumption that the patient is not at risk for stroke due to age or overall good health.
- Failure to order tests, often in an effort to cut costs.
- Improper reading of tests.
- Laboratory error.
- Errors in recording intake interview.
Treatment after a stroke can include surgery and/or anti-clotting medications.
If a stroke goes untreated or undiagnosed, there can be many serious consequences for the patient:
- Subsequent, more severe stroke
- Chronic pain
- Loss of motor skills
- Speech impairment
- Difficulty understanding words, reading, and writing
- Memory problems
- Behavioral changes
- Difficulty eating or swallowing
Contact Our Denver Medical Lawsuit Attorneys Today
Stroke recovery can be a long and difficult process. Many victims face long-term disability, a lengthy rehabilitation process, and/or major lifestyle changes, and some victims do not survive. Chances for a successful recovery and survival are significantly increased when a stroke is diagnosed and treated immediately. The possibility that a patient has suffered a stroke should never be overlooked when the symptoms are present, no matter how young or healthy a patient may seem. Call 303-792-5595 to speak with our Colorado medical injury attorneys at Burg Simpson for a free, initial consultation.