Tests To Expect When Florida Health Care Providers Suspect Stroke
A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is disrupted by a clot or tear in a blood vessel, in turn preventing the flow of essential oxygen. This condition is the leading cause of serious long-term disability in the US according to the Stroke Awareness Foundation, which reports that there are around 4.69 million stroke survivors currently living with a disability. There are two types of stroke:
- Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot deprives the brain of blood, and it is the most common form. In less than 1 minute, up to 1.9 million brain cells could be killed.
- A hemorrhagic stroke involves a ruptured artery that fills surrounding tissue with blood. This type of stroke is more likely to be fatal, and survivors face an uphill battle for recovery.
Based upon these descriptions, a proper diagnosis is critical for positive patient outcomes. Some types of treatment are unavailable outside of certain time windows, and damage to the brain worsens with every passing minute. You should consult with a Miami attorney about failure to diagnose stroke, but it is important to be aware of some tests that you can expect when health care providers suspect stroke.
A physician will start with various tests that you have been through before, including blood pressure, heart rate, vision, and body temperature. The initial exam may also include blood tests to determine sugar levels and assess how your blood clots.
This screening employs x-rays that translate images of your brain, enabling health care providers to evaluate:
- Whether there is bleeding in the brain
- The presence of clots
- Swelling of brain tissue
- A tumor, cancerous cells, or other abnormalities
Where a CT scan creates images of the brain through x-rays, an echocardiogram uses sound to evaluate the heart. The EKG can identify sources of clots in the heart, since they could have traveled through blood vessels to the brain. This test can help diagnose ischemic stroke, as well as ruling out hemorrhagic stroke.
Magnetic resonance imaging is useful for diagnosing both types of stroke, using radio waves and magnetic technology to assess damage to the brain. The screening usually involves injection of a dye into blood vessels, highlighting any tears or clots that interfere with blood flow.
The carotid arteries are located in the neck, one on each side. They provide blood supply to the brain, so any clots or narrowing will reduce or prevent oxygen flow. An ultrasound is a look at the carotid arteries to determine whether there are any fatty plaques that could have caused an ischemic stroke.
Talk to a Florida Stroke Misdiagnosis Lawyer About Legal Options
If you suffered a stroke and physicians failed to perform proper screenings as part of the diagnosis process, you may have legal remedies under Florida medical malpractice laws. To learn more about your rights, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. to set up a free consultation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers.