A 2009 study on stroke cases in young adults showed incidences of misdiagnosis by emergency department medical teams. The study involved the cases of 57 stroke patients, aged 16 to 50, who were rushed to emergency rooms; eight of these patients were incorrectly diagnosed with a range of conditions that included migraine headache, inner ear disorder, vertigo, seizure, and even alcohol intoxication. Of course they were a few hours later correctly diagnosed with a stroke, but only after having been sent home and later rushed back to the hospital, with their condition only having gotten worse.
Records from the American Stroke Association show that the annual number of stroke cases in the U.S. number to around half a million; about 200,000 of these attacks have disabling effects, while one-third is fatal. Stroke is ranked as the third leading cause of death and the number one cause of disability among Americans. Its typical victims are people aged 55 or older; thus, those under 45 years old who are rushed to hospitals seldom get the correct diagnosis despite a stroke’s revealing symptoms, which include sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arms or legs, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, difficulty speaking, difficulty seeing either from one or both eyes, and severe headache.
A stroke, also called Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA), is a result of the cessation of blood flow to areas of the brain. One of its known causes is blood clot in the blood vessels due to cholesterol plaque. Some patients experience a warning, a mini stroke, known as Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), before having a major or large one; TIA usually lasts for 20 minutes since the flow of blood resumes after an attack.
Recognizing the signs of stroke immediately can prevent the onset of its effects, which include nerve damage, permanent brain damage or, worst, patient death. Thus far, the only government-approved drug treatment for this debilitating or deadly attack is the tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, which is a clot-busting drug; however, it should be taken by the patient within three hours after symptoms start.
A stroke can permanently alter a person’s (and his/her family’s) life; this is why it’s getting diagnosed early is very critical. Sadly, however, so many individuals are never saved from its effects due to a doctor’s or healthcare provider’s failure to correctly interpret its symptoms, turning a supposedly preventable attack into a painful experience that can lead to disability or wrongful death.
As explained in the rrs-law.com website, incorrect diagnosis or misdiagnosis resulting to stroke which, in turn, leads to a patient’s disability or untimely/wrongful death is just one of the many medical errors committed by doctors and other healthcare providers.
The wrongful death of a loved one can be one of the hardest experiences any person can go through in life. The finality of the loss and the knowledge that it could have possibly been prevented can make the trauma of wrongful death harder to bear than virtually anything else. Furthermore, for many families, a wrongful death may mean the loss of an important source of support and income, without which it may be difficult to continue living as before.
There are different factors that can lead to wrongful death. Regardless of its cause, though, the family can pursue legal action against the healthcare provider who has misdiagnosed the condition of the patient to seek compensation for their loss.