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Stroke Misdiagnosis


Our attorneys at Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. are very aware that medical malpractice can take on many forms, as there are an endless number of ways that doctors and nurses can commit a crucial error or oversight when it comes to a patient’s wellbeing. For example, symptoms of a stroke can sometimes resemble other medical conditions, so misdiagnosis occur more often than people think. However, this doesn’t mean the doctor or nursing staff are off the hook when it comes to liability. 

When clients meet with us about their stroke misdiagnosis or other medical error, they often ask us questions like the following: 

Q: How common are stroke misdiagnosis?

A: Even one incidence of a stroke that is mild can have devastating impacts. The person may have permanent decreased mental capacity or physical impairments after the stroke. Many other patients may not survive. It is estimated that around 20% of strokes are not correctly diagnosed, which can lead to delayed treatment or an incorrect treatment that causes further harm. When a mistake regarding diagnosis and care is made, the patient or the surviving family may be entitled to financial compensation under a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

Q: What would a proper diagnostic procedure look like for a stroke?

A: Because a stroke entails a sudden interference of blood to the brain, timing is vital as to whether the brain cells continue being deprived of necessary blood flow. The longer the patient goes improperly diagnosed, the more cells may die. If you believe your doctor had not diagnosed you within a reasonable time-frame, then it may be time to meet with an attorney at Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for advice. Symptoms of a stroke can include:

  • Numbness, tingling sensations, or weakness
  • Loss of mobility for face, legs, or arms (particularly on one side of the body)
  • Abrupt changes in vision and speaking
  • Sudden confusion or difficulty understanding others
  • A rapid appearance of a severe headache
  • Sudden issues related to walking normally and/or balance

Q: Should my doctor have ran certain tests to identify my stroke?

A: Your doctor should have ran a CT scan or even an MRI as a way to identify a possible stroke. These tests can show if the patient is suffering from a stroke, and what form of stroke he or she may be experiencing. A series of blood test may also be recommended as a way to figure out how to prevent future clots, if that was the reason the stroke occurred. 

Q: When is my doctor most likely to misdiagnose my stroke?

A: There are two points in which your doctor most likely had misdiagnosed your stroke. The first, is when they had ran imaging tests and diagnosed you with another condition with similar symptoms. The second, is your doctor may have failed to properly diagnose which type of stroke you had endured.

If your doctor made a mistake at any point after your stroke, then it is time to seek legal representation. Please call an attorney at Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for a free, no-obligation consultation — we are here to get you the compensation you deserve!