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According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the third-most common cause of death and “a leading cause of serious, long-term disability” among adults in the United States. To minimize the damage caused by stroke, physicians and surgeons must recognize and treat its symptoms at its onset. The failure to diagnose, address, and treat stroke or misdiagnosis of its symptoms is a form of medical negligence that can cost patients their future health and, in the most tragic instances, their lives.
The Brooklyn medical negligence attorneys of Proner & Proner have the resources and experience to represent families who have been affected by the misdiagnosis of or failure to diagnose stroke. If you or a member of your family has been harmed by such an example of medical malpractice, please contact Proner & Proner in New York City today.
One of the early warning signs of an impending stroke is a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or “mini-stroke.” TIA is caused by a temporary blockage of the blood flow to the brain. The symptoms of TIA are similar to those of stroke, including impaired speech and vision and a decrease in strength or sensation on one side of the body. While these symptoms usually subside within minutes, they can be indicators of a potentially severe problem that could result in a larger stroke.
The failure to diagnose TIA, or the misdiagnosis of its symptoms, puts lives in jeopardy. Too often, people who are experiencing TIA are sent home without proper testing, dismissed as having heartburn or a high-blood-pressure incident. Roughly one-third of those who suffer TIA, however, go on to have a stroke.
When the flow of blood to the brain is interrupted, the loss of brain function is quick and steady. The only possibility of preventing extensive brain damage is rapid treatment. Often, a clot-bursting medication such as tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) can effectively restore the flow of blood to the brain before permanent damage is done. However, if action is not taken within the first few hours of the onset of stroke, the damage becomes irreversible, and the odds of survival become slimmer.
The misdiagnosis of or failure to diagnose stroke is often due to a misinterpretation of its symptoms. Patients experiencing fatigue, blurred vision, slurred speech, and numbness of the body are sometimes sent home with diagnoses of lesser conditions, such as heartburn or chronic fatigue syndrome. By the time stroke is properly diagnosed, too often the damage has already been done.
Stroke can lead to severe, irreversible brain damage. Victims of brain injury are generally unable to return to work or otherwise care for themselves. In many cases, they require lifelong care and medical attention. For victims and their families, the financial and emotional expense can be overwhelming.
Proner & Proner is one of the nation’s premier medical malpractice and personal injury law firms. To schedule a review of your misdiagnosis of or failure to diagnose stroke or TIA case, please contact our Brooklyn, NY law firm today.
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