What are My Rights if My Doctor Failed to Diagnose a Stroke?
Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that stroke is a leading cause of death in the US, killing 140,000 people annually at a rate of about one every four minutes. Even more disturbing is that only 38 percent of Americans recognize the signs of stroke and know the importance of calling 911.
However, your physician isn’t just “any” American. Health care professionals are specially trained to realize when a patient is in distress, even when they don’t necessarily specialize in neurological disorders. When a doctor fails to diagnose stroke, a patient can suffer serious, long-term brain damage and disabilities that could have been avoided. A Florida medical malpractice lawyer can explain options to recover compensation if you were affected by a failure to diagnose stroke, but an overview may be useful.
Medical Description of Stroke
In short, a stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off. Blood carries essential oxygen to the brain and, without it, brain cells quickly begin to deteriorate and die. There are two categories of stroke:
- Ischemic: Cholesterol or fat may form plaques, which are essentially clogs in blood vessels that limit or prevent blood flow.
- Hemorrhagic: When a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, such as through an aneurysm, it can leak blood into the surrounding brain tissue.
There are multiple risk factors for stroke, including smoking, a high-fat diet, excessive consumption of alcohol, diabetes, and genetics. Plus, some medications can increase the potential for stroke if not taken under careful supervision of a physician.
The Importance of Immediate Action
With early intervention, it’s possible to reduce the medical consequences or avoid long-term effects of a stroke. A physician should be able to recognize the common signs, such as:
- Difficulty with speech
- Paralysis of the face, arms, or legs, especially on one side of the body
- Blurred vision
- Sudden migraine or severe headache
- Dizziness and loss of balance
Not all failures to diagnose stroke are the result of medical mistakes. However, when the stroke would have been recognized by another physician under the same or similar circumstances, your doctor may have deviated from the applicable standard of care. This is the basis for a medical malpractice action.
Your Rights in Failure to Diagnose Stroke
If you or a loved suffered losses due to a health care provider’s failure to diagnose stroke, you may be entitled to recover compensation under Florida law. Through a medical malpractice claim you can obtain such monetary damages as:
- Medical costs for treatment
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Talk to a Medical Malpractice Attorney About Issues with Stroke Diagnosis
For more information on your rights and legal options after a failure to diagnose stroke, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. Our medical malpractice lawyers can explain how these cases work after reviewing your situation. We serve clients throughout Southern Florida from offices in Miami or Fort Myers, and we’re happy to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.