Nearly 800,000 people have strokes each year. In some cases, medical professionals fail to provide the requisite standard of care, and patients and their families suffer. Many times, this failure is preventable and worthy of sanction.
Fortunately, victims of medical negligence can potentially recover valuable compensation with the aid of a medical negligence attorney.
Stroke Treatment and Negligence
In stroke cases, negligence often manifests as a failure to diagnose a stroke as it is occurring. When a patient presents to a healthcare professional with potential stroke symptoms, the provider, whether a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional, must follow standard procedures to determine whether the person is having a stroke.
In other instances, medical negligence appears when treating a different condition. A healthcare professional might perform a procedure negligently, which can unwittingly cause a stroke.
Whether they suffer from a failure to diagnose or the negligent performance of a medical procedure, a victim of medical negligence should consult a lawyer to pursue compensation.
Failure to Diagnose
Stroke victims have limited time to get life-saving treatment. Medical professionals must identify and effectively treat all strokes as quickly as possible. Stroke sufferers often present with many of the same symptoms. However, these symptoms may also be present in other conditions.
Common stroke symptoms include:
- Confusion and cognitive problems
- Language comprehension difficulties
- Dizziness and loss of coordination or balance
- Headache or eye pain
- Double or blurred vision
- Slurring of speech
These common symptoms make stroke easily identifiable in many cases. However, stroke does have its mimics. These symptoms may have other causes, such as a brain tumor, high or low blood sugar, or other conditions.
Regardless of the cause, medical workers must treat all suspected stroke cases with the highest priority. Typically, this involves using CT or MRI scans in addition to observing the patient’s symptoms and analyzing their record.
At every point during this initial stage, every healthcare professional involved in the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of the patient must perform their work at or above recognized standards of care.
In most failure-to-diagnose cases seen by medical negligence attorneys, stroke patients go to hospitals for emergency care. First responders transport a large percentage of them after providing them with initial treatment. However, there are other instances where a stroke may occur due to failure to diagnose.
For example, pregnant women frequently experience high blood pressure and are thus at risk of experiencing a stroke. For this reason, stroke prevention and monitoring are essential during prenatal care. However, some prenatal care professionals are negligent and fail to identify the signs, leading to some expectant mothers suffering strokes.
Failure to Treat
Failure to treat cases frequently involves a doctor or institution that failed to act in time or appropriately. In cases of delayed treatment, for example, a stroke patient may not have been properly evaluated initially and consequently not given top priority. By the time they receive treatment, it may be too late.
Regarding appropriate treatment, there are two types of stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic) that require different treatments. Providing the wrong treatment can be deadly.
Stroke Caused by Medical Practitioner
Routine and complex treatments, such as surgeries, always come with some risks, which patients must accept. However, patients never have to assume the risk of negligence. When a healthcare practitioner is negligent and causes a stroke, they should be held responsible for the losses they have caused.
Various negligent actions can lead to a stroke during medical treatment. For instance, head trauma occurring during the transport or shifting of the patient can induce a stroke.
A stroke might also happen due to a mistake during a surgical procedure. For example, surgical negligence could lead to the dislodging of blood clots that block blood flow to the brain.
Consequences of Strokes Caused by Medical Negligence
As you can imagine, the consequences of strokes caused by medical negligence are devastating. In some cases, death occurs, leaving families with many financial and emotional losses. Those survivors who avoid death must often deal with temporary and permanent incapacities that forever change their lives.
Some of the short- and long-term consequences of stroke include:
- Difficulty swallowing food
- Reduction or loss of movement of limbs
- Limb weakness
- Impaired ability to communicate with others
- Loss of memory
- Loss of sexual ability
In the end, the consequences add up to losses that the patient should not have to cover. With the help of a medical negligence lawyer, stroke victims can pursue justice through compensation.
Who Can You Hold Liable?
Various healthcare professionals may be held liable for a stroke, depending on the circumstances. Additionally, the institution, such as a hospital, may also be held liable in certain cases.
According to a case’s specific facts, you can make the following professionals answer for damages caused by a stroke:
- Testing and lab technicians
In cases where the healthcare professional worked for an institution, that institution may also be sued. However, institutions are not responsible for the negligent acts of independent practitioners who work through contracts.
How Does a Medical Negligence Lawyer Prove a Negligence Caused a Stroke?
When you hire a medical negligence attorney, the first thing they must do is determine what act or failure to act led to your stroke. Your medical negligence attorney must then demonstrate that the act or failure to act was negligent.
Accomplishing this task will require them to gather and analyze copious amounts of medical information. For this reason, it is important to hire a medical negligence lawyer with experience who has a deep understanding of medical and healthcare standards.
Strokes can be effectively treated if acted upon quickly. However, every experienced medical negligence attorney will tell you that medical negligence is a reality that leads not only to the misdiagnosis of strokes but also to the initiation of this dangerous condition.
Victims of medical negligence can find some relief through the services of a caring and experienced medical negligence lawyer who will fight to get the justice they deserve.