Consequences of a Misdiagnosed Stroke

by ShelbyW on December 21, 2012

Having a stroke is possibly one of the most dangerous medical events a person can experience. Strokes can be lethal, but they can also lead to a lifetime of difficulty, including paralysis, difficulty with speech and more. While medical science certainly has progressed in its fight to prevent and treat strokes, they unfortunately do still happen.

What Causes a Stroke?

Most strokes are caused by a blockage of blood to the brain. In most cases, this occurs when a blood clot breaks away from an artery and travels through the circulatory system. Once the clot reaches the brain, it can block the flow of blood and cause the brain to shut down. Left untreated for too long, parts of the brain begin to die, causing the aforementioned consequences.

How is a Stroke Diagnosed?

When a person arrives at a medical facility while suffering a stroke, physicians look for a few symptoms. First, outward signs of a stroke include numbness or muscle weakness on one side of the body. Because a stroke begins killing off one side of the brain first, the opposite side of the body will begin to lose function before the entire body does.

In addition, someone suffering from a stroke will generally have slurred speech due to the loss of muscle control, and the victim may also salivate more than usual, causing saliva to drip from the mouth. Internally, a CT scan may reveal damage to the brain in terms of inactivity of cells. Ultrasounds and x-rays may also be taken in order to view the activity that is taking place within the arteries and brain.

How is a Stroke Treated?

Generally, the first treatment method used against a stroke is to inject tissue plasminogen activator, a medicine that is specifically designed to destroy blood clots. If this fails, an angioplasty surgical procedure may be performed in order to open blocked arteries to remove the clot and allow for normal circulation. In some situations, the affected artery may be clipped and embolized in order to redirect blood flow.

What Happens When a Stroke is Misdiagnosed?

Unfortunately, as far as medical science has advanced regarding the diagnosis of strokes, some still go misdiagnosed. When this occurs, it can lead to a variety of harmful effects, including death. Since the treatments that can prevent permanent disability must be delivered within just a few hours from the onset of symptoms, any stroke misdiagnosis lawyer will tell you that misdiagnosis can destroy lives.

If someone is experiencing a mild stroke, signs and symptoms may not be immediately present, or they may resemble another ailment. This may lead a doctor away from testing for a stroke at the moment, and by the time the stroke symptoms actually present themselves, it may be too late to do anything about them.

If you feel like you’re experiencing a stroke, it’s incredibly important for you to seek medical assistance at once. The first few hours after a stroke hits are the most critical, and people who are able to receive treatment within this limited window often have the largest chance for successful recovery. If you suddenly experience weakness, numbness, dizziness or intense head pain, call 911 or have a family member drive you to the nearest emergency room.

Legal researcher Shelby Warden contributes articles for the legal communities.  Ranked among the top twenty law firms in NYC for personal injury, the Perecman Law Group in New York City helps injured clients and their families obtain the compensation needed to move on with their lives. When misdiagnosis results in serious harm due to missed treatments, an experienced stroke misdiagnosis lawyer at their firm will fight for the best outcome available.

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