Failure to Diagnose Stroke
A stroke is a problem in a blood vessel in the brain that may result in oxygen deprivation and cause long-term brain damage. It may happen gradually or suddenly and may be difficult to diagnose. Warning signs include a severe headache, dizziness, balancing difficulties, trouble speaking or seeing with one or both eyes, confusion, and weakness or numbness in the face, arms, or legs. Harm may happen quickly in the case of stroke, and it is important to act promptly and see your doctor right away. Unfortunately, in some cases, doctors fail to diagnose stroke, resulting in serious harm to a patient. A failure to diagnose stroke may be medical malpractice. At the Dean Law Firm, our Ocala medical malpractice lawyers can evaluate your medical records and what happened to you and determine whether you may have a valid claim.Failure to Diagnose Stroke May Cause Serious Harm
This may be an error with enormous consequences. However, not every failure to diagnose stroke counts as medical malpractice. Medical malpractice in the context of a failure to diagnose occurs when a doctor fails to follow the accepted standards of the medical community for diagnosing a particular condition, and because of this failure, the patient suffers a bodily injury or dies. Accepted standards may vary from geographical region to geographical region.
Testing for stroke is usually done by performing a differential diagnosis. This is a standard process whereby a doctor lists possible conditions and tests the different possibilities, ruling them out one by one. Often, diagnostic tests and blood tests may be needed to rule out other diagnoses. A failure to diagnose may happen because a doctor failed to list stroke as a possibility or failed to conduct the appropriate tests to determine whether it was the right diagnosis.
A doctor may miss certain signs on a medical chart or not think about important information told to them by the patient. For example, some patients suffer a transient ischemic attack, which is a mini-stroke that may resolve itself, but it serves as a significant warning of a full stroke impending. If a stroke worsens as a result of a doctor's failure to diagnose and treat a condition, and the patient suffers additional harm, it may be medical malpractice.
Sometimes doctors defend themselves on the ground that the patient would have suffered disabilities or death, regardless of whether they had caught the stroke in time. The relevant issue when this defense is raised is whether the patient suffered additional harm due to the failure to diagnose. For example, if a doctor's diagnosis of stroke would have led to prompt treatment, and, but for the failure to diagnose, the patient would not have been left unable to speak, there may be a basis for a medical malpractice claim.Discuss Your Situation with a Knowledgeable Lawyer in Ocala
A failure to diagnose stroke is sadly common. However, you may be able to recover compensatory damages if you were a victim of a misdiagnosis, and you suffered harm as a result. At the Dean Law Firm, we provide legal representation to patients who have been injured due to health care negligence. Call us at 352-387-8700 or contact us via our online form to set up a free appointment. Our personal injury and wrongful death lawyers represent medical malpractice victims throughout the state, including people in Ocala, Crystal River, The Villages, and other areas of Marion, Sumter, Lake, Citrus, and Levy Counties.