4 Things That Can Go Wrong with Stroke Diagnosis and Treatment
There are risks involved with any type of health care treatment, but the threat of serious adverse outcomes is significant in the context of stroke. According to a National Library of Medicine article, stroke misdiagnosis is a “major” concern due to errors in around 9 percent of cases in the emergency setting. Missed diagnosis can lead to an array of complications, since the patient will not receive proper care AND cannot take advantage of secondary prevention strategies. However, false positive diagnosis of stroke can also be harmful, especially when the patient receives inappropriate, unnecessary treatment.
The issue of stroke malpractice is concerning, leading many people to wonder how health care providers make mistakes with identifying the condition and treating it. You should discuss legal issues with a Florida stroke misdiagnosis and malpractice lawyer, but you might gain some insight from reviewing a few things that can go wrong.
- Stroke Misdiagnosis: Though the specifics vary on the type of stroke, the condition is generally due to disruptions in blood flow to the brain – which leads to a lack of oxygen and death of brain cells. Physicians typically issue a diagnosis through a combination of symptoms, medical history, and risk factors; as such, it may be a case for malpractice when the doctor provides a false positive or false negative stroke diagnosis.
- Mistakes with Acute Treatment: An accurate, timely diagnosis of the type of stroke is closely tied to treatment. When patients receive proper care within three hours of the first symptoms of ischemic stroke, where blood flow is blocked by a clot, they are often treated with a medication known as a tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). Through proper care with this clot-busting drug, it is possible to fully recover or experience limited disability. Treatment options for a hemorrhagic stroke, i.e., bleeding in the brain, include procedures to surgically repair a damaged blood vessel.
- Medication Errors: There are multiple ways a physician may make a mistake linked to medication for stroke treatment, including:
- Administering the wrong medication, such as treating a hemorrhagic stroke with tPA;
- Providing the patient with an over- or under-dose of a stroke drug; or,
- Improper communication of medication and dosing information to other health care providers.
- Negligence in Rehabilitation and Post-Stroke Care: Effective stroke care does not end with acute treatment during an emergency room visit or hospitalization. Physicians are responsible for aftercare, where communication is crucial for success with rehabilitation and secondary stroke prevention. For some patients, this may mean lifestyle changes or receiving treatment for underlying medical conditions, such as:
- High cholesterol;
- Diabetes; or,
- Heart disease.
Our Florida Stroke Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Advise You on Your Rights
If you suffered harm because of these or any other issues with care for stroke, you may be entitled to monetary damages for your losses. Our Miami medical malpractice lawyers at Freidin Brown, P.A. can assess your legal options after reviewing your circumstances, so please contact our offices today to schedule a free consultation.