Whenever anything goes wrong in the brain, it can be terrifying. A person’s life can be changed in a matter of minutes when the brain is deprived of blood, resulting in a stroke. However, more disturbing is the notion that a doctor may not recognize signs of a serious stroke, which may result in a misdiagnosis and severe damage to the patient.
Medical malpractice claims relating to stroke can be difficult cases, as we have to prove both that there was a negligent act and that the outcome would have been different if the healthcare provider had acted within the standard of care.
About Our Stroke Misdiagnosis Lawyer
At the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson, our Indiana stroke misdiagnosis lawyer has represented countless patients who have been harmed due to medical malpractice in emergency rooms and hospitals. For years, Kelley has worked as a team with her staff to tackle tough cases and secure maximum compensation for clients and their families.
Schedule a free consultation now to talk to us about your stroke diagnosis. And don’t be concerned about payment upfront. Our firm strives to make the claims process easier by only collecting fees if we secure compensation in your case.
What Can Cause a Stroke Misdiagnosis?
Health care professionals are supposed to be held to a recognized standard of care. When they fail to meet that standard, patients can suffer greatly. Some of the common causes of missed or delayed diagnosis in stroke victims include:
- Failure to recognize stroke symptoms
- Failure to complete a comprehensive physical exam
- Failure to review the person’s medical history
- Failure to order proper tests such as MRIs or CT scans
- Failure to check that testing equipment is functioning properly
- Failure to correctly read test results indicating a stroke
- Failure to act in a timely manner
- Failure to communicate with stroke patients or fellow healthcare professionals
An incorrect diagnosis can cause a delay in treatment, as well as the potential for procedures that could cause additional harm to the patient. If you or a loved one has been harmed due to delayed diagnosis of a stroke, contact the skilled medical malpractice attorney at the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson as soon as possible to discuss your options for pursuing compensation.
Symptoms of a Stroke
Medical professionals are trained to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Yet in some cases, doctors or hospital staff may fail to make a proper diagnosis based on early symptoms. In particular, women, minorities, and young people are at increased risk of misdiagnosis for strokes, according to one study by Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Taking action at the first signs of a stroke can make a big difference in a person’s chances of recovery. The Mayo Clinic reports that symptoms to look for include:
- Slurred words
- Difficulty understanding speech
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face or limbs, particularly on one side
- Blurred, blackened, or double vision
- Severe headache
- Stumbling or loss of balance or coordination
The American Stroke Association suggests people think “FAST” if they suspect a stroke: Checking the Face, Arms, Speech, and acting in Time.
Types of Strokes
Strokes are the result of the brain’s blood supply being cut off or reduced, resulting in deprivation of oxygen to the brain. There are three main types of strokes:
- Ischemic strokes are caused when a blocked artery disrupts blood flow to the brain. About 85 percent of strokes are ischemic.
- Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by a leaking or ruptured blood vessel in the brain.
- Transient ischemic attacks, or TIA, are caused by a temporary (less than 5 minutes) reduction in blood supply to the brain. These are commonly referred to as a mini-stroke.
In evaluating a medical malpractice claim, it is important for the attorney to understand the type of stroke that the patient suffered. Most medical malpractice cases relating to a delay in diagnosis relate to an “ischemic” stroke.
Risk Factors for Stroke
There are many factors that can contribute to a person’s risk of having a stroke. The Clinic specifically warns of the risks associated with:
- Being overweight or physical inactivity
- Heavy drinking
- Drug use
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Heart disease
It also notes that those who have a family history of strokes may be at increased risk, as are African Americans and people 55 or older. Although men are at a higher risk of stroke than women, strokes are more likely to be fatal in female victims.
Did the Medical Negligence Result in Harm?
Stroke cases can be difficult cases in the area of medical malpractice as there are many factors involved in being able to prove that if the stroke was diagnosed in a timely manner, treatment would have made a difference in the outcome.
Some patients who suffer ischemic strokes may be candidates for a clot-busting medication known as tissue plasminogen activator (or Alteplase IV r-tPA). This medication typically must be administered within a window of three to four and a half hours of a stroke to be effective. However, this medication is not always appropriate or successful, and many people do not arrive at the hospital or healthcare facility early enough to receive this treatment.
At the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson, we believe it is important to have an expert review of both the negligence and whether treatment was indicated and would have made a difference.
Compensation for a Stroke Misdiagnosis
For anyone who has suffered a stroke, the cost of treatment can climb into the tens of thousands of dollars. For those who have been the victim of a stroke misdiagnosis, the costs only increase as proper treatment is delayed and more damage is done.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, our knowledgeable attorney may pursue compensation for:
- Medical bills, including both current expenses and ones you will have in the future
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity if you cannot do the same work you did before
- Pain and suffering
The Indiana medical malpractice claims process is extremely complicated, and there are strict time limits on how long you have to file a claim. That’s why we suggest you schedule a consultation with our legal team as soon as possible to discuss your options for compensation. Contact us now to learn more.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Misdiagnosed Stroke Attorney
At the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson, our compassionate stroke misdiagnosis attorney is dedicated to standing up for the rights of patients who have been injured due to negligence on the part of a medical professional or facility. Kelley J. Johnson has more than 15 years of legal experience, and her team includes a skilled nurse litigation paralegal and legal assistant who are focused on providing outstanding service for all of our clients.
If are going through the pain of a misdiagnosed stroke, or if you have lost a loved one due to a misdiagnosis, contact a stroke misdiagnosis attorney now. Our team will review your claim for free, with no obligation, and we will go over all your options for pursuing the compensation you need. Call or fill out our online form to learn more.