A stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing the brain from receiving enough oxygen and nutrients. If a stroke is not diagnosed and treated promptly, it can result in permanent brain damage or even death.
Stroke misdiagnosis is a form of medical malpractice that can have devastating consequences for patients and their families. If you or someone you love has suffered harm due to a stroke misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation.
At Cullan & Cullan, our Kansas City stroke misdiagnosis lawyers are dedicated to helping victims of medical negligence recover the full, fair compensation they are owed. We understand the immense challenges you are facing, and we are here to provide the compassionate legal guidance and aggressive representation you need. Our attorneys are also medical doctors, which means we have a unique understanding of the medical issues involved in your case.
We offer free initial consultations to all potential clients. Call (816) 253-8606 or contact us online to get started.
What Is a Stroke and How Is It Diagnosed?
A stroke, also known as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), occurs when there is a disruption in the blood supply to the brain. This interruption can be caused by a blockage in the blood vessels supplying the brain (ischemic stroke) or by bleeding into the brain tissue (hemorrhagic stroke). Strokes can lead to damage in the affected part of the brain, affecting functions controlled by that area, such as movement, speech, or memory.
The symptoms of a stroke include:
- Difficulty speaking or understanding others
- Sudden confusion
- Severe headache
- Dizziness and/or loss of balance
- Trouble walking
- Blurred vision or difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
- Numbness or paralysis in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
Diagnosing a stroke involves a combination of clinical evaluation, medical history review, and diagnostic tests. Here are some key steps in the diagnosis of a stroke:
- Clinical Assessment: Healthcare professionals will conduct a thorough examination of the patient, assessing symptoms, medical history, and risk factors for stroke. Common symptoms include sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body, confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech, and difficulty walking.
- CT Scan (Computed Tomography): This is often the first imaging test performed to determine whether the stroke is ischemic or hemorrhagic. It helps visualize any bleeding or blockages in the brain.
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): This provides more detailed images of the brain and is particularly useful for detecting ischemic strokes.
- Blood Tests: Blood tests may be conducted to check for conditions that could contribute to stroke risk, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, or clotting disorders.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): This test is done to monitor the heart's electrical activity and identify irregularities that could lead to stroke, such as atrial fibrillation.
- Carotid Ultrasound: This test uses sound waves to create images of the carotid arteries in the neck, helping to identify any blockages or narrowing that may increase the risk of stroke.
- Cerebral Angiography: In some cases, a cerebral angiogram may be performed to obtain detailed images of the blood vessels in the brain. This is often done in more complex cases or when other tests are inconclusive.
How Are Strokes Misdiagnosed?
There are several ways a stroke can be misdiagnosed, including:
- Failing to recognize the symptoms: A stroke can be misdiagnosed if the medical professional fails to recognize the symptoms. This is especially true if the patient is young or otherwise healthy.
- Failure to order appropriate tests: If a patient exhibits symptoms of a stroke, the medical professional should order a CT scan or MRI to determine if the patient has suffered a stroke. If the medical professional fails to order the appropriate tests, the stroke may go undiagnosed.
- Misreading the test results: Even if the medical professional orders the appropriate tests, the stroke can still be misdiagnosed if the medical professional misreads the test results.
- Failure to provide timely treatment: A stroke can also be misdiagnosed if the medical professional recognizes the symptoms and orders the appropriate tests, but fails to provide timely treatment.
When a stroke is misdiagnosed, the patient is not provided with the necessary treatment to prevent further damage. In many cases, the stroke victim suffers severe, permanent brain damage that could have been avoided.
What Compensation Can You Recover for a Stroke Misdiagnosis?
If you have been the victim of a stroke misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation for a variety of economic and non-economic damages.
These may include:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
In cases involving particularly egregious medical negligence, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. Unlike economic and non-economic damages, which are intended to compensate the victim, punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar conduct.
Our Kansas City Stroke Misdiagnosis Attorneys Can Help
If you believe you have been the victim of stroke misdiagnosis, the first step is to consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. At Cullan & Cullan, we have extensive experience handling complex medical malpractice cases, and we have a successful track record in even the most challenging cases.
Our Kansas City stroke misdiagnosis attorneys are also medical doctors, which means we have an in-depth understanding of the medical issues involved in your case. We work with a team of medical experts who can review your medical records, help us determine if you have a viable claim, and testify on your behalf if your case goes to trial.
When you choose our firm, you can be confident that we will take the time to fully understand your situation and your goals. We will help you explore all of your legal options and work tirelessly to help you recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.