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What happens when doctors miss the signs of a stroke?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2024 | Accidents & Incidents

The medical community in Illinois and around the world defines a stroke as the rapid death of brain cells due to oxygen deprivation. A stroke interrupts blood flow to the brain, causing abnormal brain function. Without immediate treatment, it can cause permanent damage.

Causes and consequences of strokes

In most cases, strokes occur when an artery ruptures or a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked, often without warning signs. As of 2022, strokes ranked as the third leading cause of death in the US. Whether they can be entirely prevented remains unknown.

Stroke misdiagnosis

Stroke misdiagnosis occurs when a medical professional fails to recognize a stroke while it’s occurring or in time to administer time-sensitive treatment, such as clot-busting medications, which must be given within a specific window to prevent permanent brain damage. Negligence may occur if nurses and other medical professionals do not identify the signs of an impending stroke or recognize that a transient ischemic attack indicates the likelihood of an impending stroke.

Misdiagnosis and malpractice

Misdiagnosis may be considered negligent or medical malpractice when established prevention methods or stroke symptoms are overlooked. Failure to recognize stroke signs can lead to permanent brain damage or fatalities. Irreversible consequences of stroke damage include pain, seizures, brain injury, paralysis, loss of motor skills, depression and changes in mood or behavior. Symptoms such as confusion, leg weakness, sudden severe headaches and one-sided numbness or paralysis should be recognized by medical professionals.

Consequences of misdiagnosis

After a stroke, families may encounter financial burdens such as rehabilitation costs, long-term care expenses and burial costs in the event of fatalities. In cases of misdiagnosis leading to wrongful death or stroke-related injuries, families may pursue financial compensation. Medical professionals are entrusted with the duty to deliver quality care to their patients, and negligence can result in long-term pain and suffering for the victims.