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Stroke: Failure To Diagnose And Treat

A stroke occurs when the flow of oxygen to the brain is cut off. Nearly 85 percent of strokes are caused by a blood clot or other obstruction in an artery. About 15 percent of strokes are caused by a blood vessel that breaks and leaks blood into the brain.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the country, after heart disease and cancer. About 160,000 people die of stroke each year, and it is the leading cause of disability in adults. According to the National Stroke Association, approximately 780,000 strokes will occur this year, and 500,000 of them could be prevented.

Our Michigan medical malpractice attorneys have handled many cases involving strokes, so we know what needs to be investigated. Get in touch with our firm to discuss your case further.

Every Minute Counts – Time Lost Is Brain Lost

Failure to timely diagnose stroke symptoms can make all the difference between full recovery and permanent disability or death. For this reason, it is often said that "time lost is brain lost." A drug called tPA can dissolve blood clots in the blood vessels of the brain. While tPA can stop many types of strokes in their tracks, allowing patients to walk away unharmed, this clot-busting medication must be administered quickly, usually within three hours from the onset of symptoms.

Warning Signs Of Stroke

If you experience any of these warning signs of stroke, please call 911 immediately:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Our lawyers have successfully represented people who went to the emergency room with symptoms of stroke but were turned away and sent home, where they later suffered a stroke that left them permanently disabled. For example, mental confusion or trouble speaking or understanding are among the warning signs of stroke. Yet emergency room doctors often mistake these symptoms for dementia in older people. It is a mistake that patients may pay for with their lives.

Minor And Major Strokes

We also represent clients who have experienced smaller strokes, called transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), who were not properly diagnosed, treated or monitored and later experienced a full stroke. In addition, we represent survivors of those who died because of a stroke misdiagnosis.

If a loved one has suffered a stroke that was misdiagnosed or where the diagnosis was delayed, contact one of our attorneys for a free consultation. Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, can be reached by phone at 734-545-8421 or through our convenient online contact form.