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Misdiagnosed Stroke

A Medical Malpractice Lawyer can Help You After a Misdiagnosed Stroke

A misdiagnosed medical problem can be a life-threatening event and a stroke that is misdiagnosed can lead to permanent brain damage or death. If you or a loved one had a stroke that was misdiagnosed or missed by a medical professional, you may be entitled to compensation. Misdiagnosis by a physician or medical professional can be a form of medical malpractice, and a Rhode Island Medical Malpractice Attorney at Tapalian Law can determine if you are eligible to file a personal injury claim for malpractice. When a doctor or medical professional fails to properly treat a medical condition, makes a mistake during a procedure, or another act of negligence or omission resulting in a new, or worsened, injury to a patient, they may be liable for medical malpractice. If you think your stroke was misdiagnosed, or a loved one’s stroke was misdiagnosed, contact a skilled medical malpractice attorney in Rhode Island to see if you are entitled to compensation for your medical misdiagnosis.

Signs & Symptoms of a Potential Stroke

In simple terms, a stroke is when the flow of blood to certain parts of your brain becomes restricted. When blood flow to the brain is restricted, this can result in serious damage to the brain, including a fatality. Certain symptoms will alert a physician or medical professional to a potential stroke. Conditions that may suggest a stroke include, but are not limited to:

  • slurred speech
  • excessive headache
  • blurred vision
  • difficulty thinking
  • facial numbness and unevenness
  • loss of strength in your arms
  • dropping of one arm after raising

If any combination of the above symptoms is present, the medical provider will likely perform a differential diagnosis, which is a series of tests to rule out a stroke. Your doctor or medical professional may also provide a neurological exam as well as an eye exam to check for swelling of any optic nerves. Other tests that can determine a stroke are a CT scan or head MRI which may show any blockage or bleeding in the head. An electrocardiogram, or EKG, may help to illustrate certain indices of a stroke and an angiogram can determine which blood vessel is blocked or bleeding. If you visited your doctor’s office or the hospital with one or more of these conditions, certain medical tests should have been performed to determine whether or not you suffered a stroke. If diagnostic tests were not performed and you suffered a stroke, seek the advice of a medical malpractice lawyer in Rhode Island to determine if your stroke was misdiagnosed.

Evidence of Stroke Misdiagnosis

To determine if your medical condition was misdiagnosed, you need the guidance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Tapalian Law, a Providence, RI personal injury law firm, is well-versed in medical malpractice law including misdiagnosed strokes. We have access to a network of medical professionals who can present an opinion as to the misdiagnosis of your stroke or other medical condition. There are a number of mistakes that a busy doctor’s office or emergency room can make and misdiagnosing a medically preventable stroke is one example. Medical mistakes that can lead to a stroke misdiagnosis include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

  • failure to recognize symptoms of a stroke
  • failure to perform certain tests
  • failure to obtain a client’s complete medical history
  • improper interpretation of test results
  • insufficient experience in the evaluation of neurological deficiencies
  • rushed and incomplete physical examinations
Common Stroke Misdiagnoses

Some of the most significant dangers of an incorrectly diagnosed stroke occur in younger patients. Because the majority of strokes occur in those age 50 and over, it is more common for a stroke to be misdiagnosed in a person under the age of 50, as they are presumed to not be as prone to the condition due to their age. Often times the physician will establish a condition other than a stroke. Some of these common misdiagnoses include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • excessive fatigue
  • asthma
  • excessive migraine headache
  • anxiety or panic attack
  • vertigo
Transient Ischemic Attack (TSA)

A Transient Ischemic Attack (TSA) is a minor and extremely brief stroke-like attack that may resolve within minutes or hours. TSA’s can be one of the leading causes of a misdiagnosed stroke. All of the symptoms could resolve within minutes, leading to a stroke misdiagnosis by certain medical providers. An inexperienced medical provider or busy hospital may not conduct certain necessary tests due to the fact that the symptoms have resolved, in which case medical malpractice may be performed when a stroke is not identified. If you have any of the above symptoms even for a brief period of time it is important that you seek immediate medical attention and bring the possibility of a stroke to the attention of your doctor.

A Misdiagnosed Stroke can Result in Significant Monetary Damages

Every misdiagnosed medical malpractice claim is different, and no two cases are alike. To illustrate the significant damages that can result, a Florida jury awarded over $200 million to a misdiagnosed stroke patient due to his significant damages and disability. The plaintiff was left significantly brain damaged and disabled after hospital emergency room doctors failed to identify his stroke. Of this award, $100 million was related to punitive damages. The plaintiff in the case, Alan Navarro, was 50 years old at the time and once played pro basketball in the Philippines. After the misdiagnosed stroke, he is now confined to a wheelchair and encounters significant risks of choking when swallowing his food.

Seek Advice From a Medical Malpractice Lawyer After a Medical Misdiagnosis

It is important that you contact a RI or MA attorney experienced with stroke misdiagnoses about your potential claim. A successful medical malpractice claim involves all of the facts and an experienced medical malpractice attorney will be familiar with contacting the appropriate experts to evaluate your misdiagnosed stroke claim. When you contact Tapalian Law about your malpractice claim, you will meet with Attorney David Tapalian to discuss your situation, at no charge. In order to present a successful medical malpractice claim, we must prove that the doctor or medical provider deviated from the accepted medical standard of care that should have been performed. If you think that you might have experienced a stroke that was misdiagnosed, contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Rhode Island immediately. With offices in Providence, Warwick, and Seekonk, MA, the personal injury firm of Tapalian Law has been helping victims of medical malpractice, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and slip and falls, for over 20 years. Call us for a free consultation at 401-552-5000, or contact us using our online form.

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