Failure to Diagnose a Stroke in Portland

High school health class taught us all the basics of identifying a stroke and quickly identifying it. A misdiagnosed stroke or even a delay in diagnosis can have a life-changing impact. Suppose you or a loved one has suffered a delayed or missed diagnosis of a stroke. In that case, you may want to discuss your options to recover compensation with a medical malpractice lawyer in the Portland area.

Understanding a Stroke

In every manifestation of illness, some people may be outliers. However, the most common symptoms of a stroke include:

If you have signs of a stroke, it is crucial to act quickly. The Centers for Disease Control(CDC) states that every minute is crucial in providing lifesaving treatment and mitigating long-term damage. The CDC even advises that you shouldn’t waste time driving to the hospital or having someone else drive you but should call 911 to receive medical attention as soon as possible.

Misdiagnosing a Stroke

A stroke diagnosis may seem straightforward, and in many cases, it is. A PubMed study looked at factors associated with stroke misdiagnoses in the emergency department and found that in most cases of misdiagnoses, the initial FAST exam was negative, and the other present symptoms, such as altered mental status, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, were quickly attributed to something else. This study ultimately determined that diagnostic accuracy was the problem.

Physicians and medical staff generally mean well, but an overcrowded emergency department may mean that patients do not get the level of attention and treatment they deserve. Patients displaying symptoms that don’t neatly fit in the box may suffer.

Injuries From a Misdiagnosed Stroke

Inaccurate diagnoses of an illness are always a problem. However, due to the emergent nature of a stroke, the delay caused by misdiagnoses is damage that you may never recover from. Every minute that treatment is delayed is crucial.

The specific lasting symptoms of a stroke will vary depending upon where the brain took damage. The American Stroke Association shows some common injuries from an untreated stroke are:

While you may recover from some of these injuries with consistent physical, occupational, and sometimes mental health therapies, many victims of an untreated stroke may never recover, and some will die. The Oregon Public Health Division shows that Multnomah County alone saw a stroke death rate of 86 per 100,000.

Recovering After an Undiagnosed Stroke

Recovering from a misdiagnosed stroke can mean a lifetime of difficulty and therapies. For your loved ones, it may mean they move from being a partner or child to a primary caregiver for someone who needs around-the-clock care. Even in the event of a less debilitating outcome, you may have to cope with personality changes and emotional outbursts, leaving you connected to someone you feel you barely know. A stroke that has not been correctly diagnosed can mean catastrophic injuries and may entitle you and your family to compensation.