How common are strokes?
Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability and the third leading cause of death in the United States.
What are the symptoms of a stroke?
- Weakness, heaviness, numbness, or paralysis (usually on one side of the body)
- Weakness or tingling in a limb
- Sudden loss of strength in the legs
- Severe headache
- Dizziness, loss of balance, loss of coordination
- Difficulty speaking or finding words
- Difficulty understanding speech
- Loss of vision
- Change of vision, such as dimness, blurriness, or double vision
How can damage from strokes be caused my medical malpractice?
Doctors and emergency room staff often fail to associate symptoms with stroke because they do not see the patient as someone who is likely to have a stroke. Mistakes leading to undiagnosed stroke include:
- Failure to take a proper and thorough medical history
- Failure to perform a thorough physical examination
- Failure to consider stroke in patients that seem healthy
- Failure to consider stroke in younger patients
- Failure to order necessary tests in a timely and emergent manner
- Delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose stroke
- Delay in performing testing for stroke and treatment of stroke
- Failure to consult neurological specialists in a timely manner
- Improper reading of tests
- Laboratory error
Can damage from a stroke be prevented?
Yes, sometimes damage from a stroke can be predicted or prevented by proper and timely medical treatment. Doctors and health care professionals can detect an imminent stroke, or properly diagnose and treat a stroke by:
- Recognizing the warning signs, including a Transient Ischemic Attack (“TIA“) or “mini-stroke”
- Taking a proper and thorough patient history
- Conducting a detailed physical exam
- Avoiding an improper conclusion regarding the patient’s presentation by carefully adhering to established protocols
- Performing an ultrasound of the carotid arteries or angiograms (radiology study of the arteries)
- Administering the appropriate treatment, often including blood thinners
What is a Transient Ischemic Attack (” TIA “) or mini-stroke?
In a Transient Ischemic Attack (“TIA“), a patient has stroke like symptoms but by definition these symptoms are only temporary (transient). The occurrence of a TIA can be a very important warning sign because they often occur before a full blown stroke takes place. TIA‘s typically only last about 10 to 20 minutes, but prompt diagnosis and treatment can prevent a more serious, life-threatening stroke from occurring.
What kind of harm results from a stroke misdiagnosis?
Once a stroke has occurred time is of the essence. Timely treatment can stop the damage from progressing and can even reverse damage. Undiagnosed stroke or misdiagnosed stroke means delayed treatment or no treatment at all. This allows brain cell death to continue, and can quickly escalate to preventable permanent brain injury or death. Consequences of undiagnosed stroke or misdiagnosed stroke can include:
- Brain injury
- More severe stroke
- Paralysis, often on one side of the body
- Loss of motor skills
- Memory problems
- Difficulty speaking and/or understanding words
- Difficulty reading and writing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Behavioral changes
I have lost a loved one due to undiagnosed or misdiagnosed stroke. Do I still have a case?
If you have lost a loved one to medical malpractice you may still be entitled to compensation due to your loved one’s wrongful death.
What can I do if I am the victim of failure to diagnose stroke?
If you or a loved one has experienced serious injury or death which you believe may have been due to the failure to prevent stroke, or the failure to timely diagnose or treat stroke, you may be entitled to compensation including:
- Current and future medical bills
- Current and future loss of wages
- Long-term disability
- Long-term care expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Burial expenses
Collectively, New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers Michael L. Weiss, Esq.and Robert E. Paarz, Esq. have presented over 20 medical malpractice cases relating to stroke damage to juries and have helped many families achieve substantial financial recoveries. They are committed to using their knowledge and experience to help any individual or family who has suffered a severe, permanent injury or death due to medical malpractice to obtain fair compensation.
If you believe you or a loved one may have had a stroke misdiagnosis, please contact Weiss & Paarz, P.C., today.