The American Heart Association recognizes strokes as the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Not only stroke a leading cause of disability, but the mismanagement of the condition is also a leading cause of medical malpractice cases. These statistics are heartbreaking. If you’ve seen a loved one go through the challenges brought on by a stroke, you know just how heartbreaking and life-altering the cardiovascular event can be. When something like this happens, we need doctors and health professionals to support us in getting better, so we can ultimately get our lives back to normal as much as possible. As such, when a doctor is negligent, the consequences can be absolutely dire.
If you or a loved one has been in this situation, the Doctor Lawyer firm is here to help you recover. We’ll fight for your right to get your life and health back. Make no mistake– you haven’t been forgotten. We’ll work tirelessly to get you the compensation you need to get better.
We’ve written this article to explain stroke mismanagement cases. If you have any other questions, please call our medical malpractice attorneys in Jacksonville, Florida at 1-833-MedMals (633-6257), email us at DrChakour@sowellchakour.com, or fill out our convenient online contact form.
Stroke Facts According to the Centers for Disease Control
A stroke happens when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures. This cuts off blood and oxygen to the brain, causing brain cells to die. Here are some facts about strokes according to the CDC:
- In the US, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds and dies from a stroke every four minutes
- In 2018, one in six deaths from cardiovascular disease was caused by a stroke
- If a patient has a stroke, they are likely to have another one; nearly one in four-stroke patients has had a previous stroke
- Strokes are a severe cause of long-term disability, resulting in decreased mobility in over half of stroke survivors 65 years and older
- People who get medical attention within three hours after their first symptom frequently have less disability three months after the event than people who delayed medical attention
- 80 percent of strokes are preventable, according to the American Heart Association
Symptoms of a Stroke
Quick action is vital for stroke sufferers. Knowing the first signs of a stroke can greatly increase your chances of recovery. According to the CDC, only 38 percent of survey respondents were aware of all major stroke symptoms and that they needed to call for medical attention immediately. The first symptoms of a stroke to be aware of include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arms, or legs; this is often isolated to one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, difficulty speaking, or trouble understanding another person’s speech
- Sudden impaired vision in one eye
- Sudden difficulty walking, lack of coordination, dizziness, or loss of balance
- Severe headache for no apparent reason
If you or a loved one has any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.
Consequences of Undiagnosed/Mismanaged Strokes
If medical attention is given promptly and the stroke is managed correctly thereafter, consequences tend to be less severe. However, an undiagnosed or mismanaged stroke can have dire consequences. As such, it’s imperative for a medical professional to act according to a reasonable and acceptable standard of care, so action can be taken swiftly and thoroughly. Proper testing can ensure accurate diagnosis. Testing might include CT brain scans, MRIs, CTA (computed tomographic angiography), etc. Based on your specific diagnosis, your doctor will develop a treatment plan for you. This diagnosis and treatment plan, as well as the specific location and type of stroke, will greatly impact your timeline and level of recovery. The consequences of misdiagnosis or mismanagement could include:
- Brain injury
- Another stroke
- Paralysis (frequently on one side of the body)
- Memory issues
- Loss of motor skills
- Trouble reading and writing
- Speech issues
- Trouble understanding communication
- Difficulty swallowing
- Behavioral changes
Can the Damage of a Stroke be Prevented?
Yes, damage from a stroke can be anticipated or prevented with appropriate and quick treatment. Doctors can detect an inevitable stroke and diagnose and treat a stroke by being thorough in medical assessments, properly assessing a patient’s medical history, providing detailed physical examinations, noticing warning signs, utilizing ultrasounds of the carotid arteries, administering proper treatment, which might include prescribing blood thinners, etc.
If you believe you or a loved one had a stroke that was preventable and/or poorly managed by a healthcare provider, consult a medical malpractice attorney in Florida today to understand if you have a case. The aftermath of a misdiagnosed stroke is vast. Plaintiffs may suffer from a multitude of injuries and expenses, including long-term rehabilitation or care, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, long-term disability, current and future loss of wages, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, current and future medical expenses, and burial costs. The road to recovery – physically, emotionally, and financially – is long and difficult. Let Sowell and Chakour help you with the process of getting the compensation you deserve after stroke mismanagement.
Proving Liability in a Stroke Mismanagement Case
A medical malpractice attorney in Florida will help you prove that you have a case by substantiating that your medical care provider failed to adhere to the “medical standard of care.” This means your attorney will collect evidence that your doctor acted negligently. The medical standard of care is the level and kind of care that a reasonable and skilled doctor within the same medical community would provide a patient with a similar medical condition. Some types of medical negligence that might occur with stroke patients include:
- Laboratory mistakes
- Failure to properly read tests
- Failure to commune with neurological experts in a prompt manner
- Any delays in performing treatment for strokes or tests for suspected strokes
- Failure to conduct a thorough examination
- Failure to consider the possibility of stroke in younger and/or healthier patients
- Failure to notate appropriate and thorough medical history of the patient
- Overall delay or failure to diagnose the patient
Not all errors in diagnosis fall into the category of medical malpractice. The key is to prove the negligence that caused the injury or further injuries. To review the complete litmus test of malpractice cases, read our previous blog.
Once negligence is proven, we will negotiate a settlement on your behalf. If that settlement is insufficient to cover all damages, we will take the case to trial. The process depends on the specific case. If you think you or a loved one has been injured due to a medical provider’s negligence, contact a medical malpractice attorney in Florida to better understand your case.
Stroke mismanagement causes devastating consequences, which can lead to a world of overwhelming emotional, physical, and financial injuries. If a health care provider has failed to uphold his or her duty of providing reasonable and sound medical care for you or a loved one, call Sowell and Chakour today.
You can reach us by calling 1-833-MedMals, emailing us at DrChakour@sowellchakour.com, or filling out our convenient online contact form. We’ll then schedule an initial meeting to review the facts of your case.
The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not decide whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.