A stroke is an interruption of the oxygen flow in your brain, often caused by a blood clot or a brain hemorrhage. If it is caught and treated early, long-term health issues can be avoided. Proper preventative care can also reduce the severity of a stroke’s after effects. Sadly, many doctors fail to diagnose a stroke and its warning signs. When this happens, it’s crucial that you file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The Brooklyn, NY attorneys of Zucker & Regev would like to consider some of the basics of strokes, and why a doctor’s misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of this medical condition can be tragic.
Statistics on Strokes
According to facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 795,000 Americans suffer from a stroke each year. That’s one stroke every 4 minutes. In total, around 140,000 Americans die each year due to strokes; that’s 1 in every 20 deaths.
Given how common strokes are, it should not be difficult for doctors to identify the warning signs of the condition and make a proper diagnosis. And yet, sadly, delayed diagnoses and misdiagnoses of strokes occur every year.
Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke
The most common symptoms and warning signs of a stroke include:
- Numbness or paralysis of the face, leg, arm, or entire side of the body
- Sudden difficulty speaking
- Problems understanding speech
- Vision problems
- Difficulty walking
It’s also important that doctors note these risk factors for strokes:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High cholesterol
- Sleep apnea
- Heart disease
- Family history of strokes
- Use of tobacco products
When a doctor fails to notice these symptoms and warning signs, our Brooklyn medical negligence lawyers will hold them accountable for their errors.
The Dangers of a Stroke Misdiagnosis
If a stroke is not properly diagnosed, it can prove fatal. If the stroke itself does not kill a person, the impairment to vision and mobility may lead to a deadly accident, such as an auto collision or fall.
Even if a stroke is not fatal, it can have serious long-term repercussions due to the reduced flow of oxygen to the brain. An undiagnosed and untreated stroke could cause lasting problems with speech, impaired facial and bodily movement, and even problems with cognition. Patients may also be at risk for another more serious stroke later in life.
Ignoring Stroke Risk Factors
Preventative care is always best, which is why doctors must be mindful of all the risk factors associated with strokes. A doctor could help their patient lead a healthier lifestyle to reduce their risk of a stroke, yet many doctors do not focus on preventative aspects of health care, which leads to costlier medical treatments in the future.
Legal Damages in Misdiagnosis Cases
When seeking legal damages for a misdiagnosed stroke, we will be sure that compensatory damages cover the cost of medical care and the financial losses associated with changes to your mobility and cognition. In the case of a fatal stroke, the damages will also cover funerary costs and the emotional pain and suffering associated with the loss of a loved one. Punitive damages may also be sought if the misdiagnosis of a stroke is especially egregious.
Speak with Our Delayed Diagnosis Lawyers
For more information about the misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis of a stroke, be sure to contact a skilled medical malpractice attorney. The law firm of Zucker & Regev can be reached in Brooklyn by phone at (718) 624-1211.