A stroke has the potential to adversely impact the rest of your life. The type and severity of your stroke, the area of your brain that was damaged, and whether or not you received timely and effective treatment directly affect the seriousness of your complications and symptoms. You can suffer a range of symptoms such as weakness, cognitive disorders, vision difficulties, paralysis, and speech problems. Immediate diagnosis and treatment can mitigate some of the damage caused by a stroke. However, failure to diagnose a stroke could lead to catastrophic medical consequences.
If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to a physician’s failure to accurately diagnose a stroke, contact our experienced Baltimore attorney for death or injury from missed or misdiagnosed strokes. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case consultation.
Missing the Symptoms of a Stroke in Baltimore Hospitals
A stroke affects the brain, reducing the flow of blood and limiting oxygen. The deprivation of oxygen to the brain causes brain cells to die, significantly impairing or destroying the abilities controlled by those cells. Strokes are medical emergencies requiring immediate medical attention. If left untreated, the symptoms following a stroke could be significantly worse.
Several conditions can cause a stroke, and a stroke can affect different parts of the brain. Therefore, every stroke has unique symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of a stroke, however, include sudden headaches, weakness on one side of your body, noticeable changes in vision or sense of taste, and loss of balance. Unfortunately, many of these symptoms resemble other, less severe conditions. It is your doctor’s responsibility to interpret these symptoms and order further testing if a stroke was suspected. If your physician ignores your symptoms, the damage caused by your stroke could be more substantial or fatal.
Reasons Strokes are Misdiagnosed in Baltimore
If your doctor suspects a stroke, a CT scan or an MRI of your brain should be ordered. These tests, if properly administered and interpreted, should reveal whether you suffered a stroke and what type of stroke it was.
Strokes are categorized into two types based on the cause of the condition: a blood clot can cause an “ischemic stroke,” while a “hemorrhagic stroke” can develop from internal bleeding. To ensure your stroke receives immediate, effective treatment, your doctor must quickly determine whether you are suffering from a stroke and which type of stroke it is. Each type of stroke requires different treatments, and medication that would mitigate the effects of one can exacerbate the adverse consequences of the other. If you received the wrong medication because your doctor misdiagnosed your type of stroke, contact our Baltimore stroke misdiagnosis attorney.
Your physician may misdiagnose your symptoms even after conducting imaging tests. For instance, your doctor could misdiagnose your symptoms as some other medical condition. Some illnesses, such as brain tumors, have symptoms that are similar to a stroke. The significant difference between a stroke and a brain tumor is that the damage caused by a tumor tends to increase gradually as the tumor grows, whereas strokes tend to strike severely and suddenly. Your doctor could misdiagnose your stroke as a tumor if you arrive in an unconscious state.
Similarly, the altered brain functions associated with seizures often resemble a stroke. If your family has a medical history of seizures, your doctor could mistakenly attribute your symptoms to a seizure. While imaging scans should distinguish the conditions, your physician could misinterpret the results, leading you to not receive the treatment you need.
Complications of a Misdiagnosed Stroke
A stroke is a serious medical condition that can have devastating effects depending on the type and severity of the stroke. Quick treatment is one of the best tools to avoid or reverse the potentially catastrophic harm of a stroke. If treatment is delayed or ineffective, the resulting brain damage could be substantial, permanently changing your life and potentially leaving you paralyzed, in a coma, or close to death.
Medical Malpractice in Baltimore Involving Misdiagnosed Strokes
Misdiagnosing the symptoms of a stroke might not automatically constitute medical malpractice. To establish liability for medical malpractice, our Baltimore attorney will have to demonstrate several elements. Through testimony provided by a medical expert, we will establish that your physician deviated from the accepted “standard of care” when diagnosing your condition. By demonstrating that your doctor failed to adhere to what a prudent, similarly experienced doctor would have done in your case, we will show that the medical care you received was negligent.
Next, we will have to show that the adverse medical consequences you are suffering are a direct result of the failure to provide proper treatment. Causation can be shown if your treatment was delayed due to your doctor misdiagnosing your stroke. Finally, we will prove the actual damages, both economic and noneconomic, that you incurred as a result of the misdiagnosis.
Call Our Baltimore Attorney for Death or Injury from Missed or Misdiagnosed Strokes for a Free Consultation
The consequences of a stroke could be devastating when the condition is properly diagnosed. If your physician misdiagnosed or missed your stroke, the situation could be even worse: the immediate treatment necessary to mitigate brain damage may have never been administered, resulting in more severe injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to a physician’s failure to accurately diagnose a stroke, contact our experienced Baltimore attorney for death or injury from a missed or misdiagnosed stroke. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case consultation.