What Is A Stroke?
The brain is an organ like any other, and therefore requires the oxygen and nutrients which blood provides to properly function. If blood supply is stopped or restricted, brain cells will begin to die, leading to brain damage and even possibly death. This is the serious medical condition known as a stroke.
Prompt treatment is essential in the event of a stroke – the sooner treatment is received, the less damage is likely to happen. Strokes are a medical emergency and prompt treatment is essential. Where misdiagnosis has resulted in the delayed treatment of a stroke, a claim for medical malpractice may be made due to the unnecessary development of complications whilst the ailment was left unchecked.
There are two main stroke types:
- Ischaemic, whereby the blood supply is stopped due to a blood clot (80% of cases)
- Haemorrhagic, whereby a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain bursts causing brain damage
It is important to be aware of other related conditions which are commonly misdiagnosed. A transient ischaemic attack results in a temporary interruption to the supply of blood to the brain, causing a ‘mini-stroke’. TIAs should be treated seriously, as they often warn of an oncoming stroke.
Who Is At Risk From Strokes?
People over 65 years of age are most at risk from strokes, though a quarter of recorded stroke occurrences have been recorded in those under 65. Children are also susceptible to strokes in rare cases.
Smoking, a poor diet, being obese, and under-exercising are all risk factors for strokes. Additionally, conditions that affect the circulation of the blood, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat), and diabetes all increase the individual’s likelihood of having a stroke.
What Are The Symptoms Of Stroke?
The main symptoms of stroke may be remembered with the word FAST: Face-Arms-Speech-Time.
- Face – the victim’s face may drop on one side, they may be unable to smile or their mouth or eye may have dropped
- Arms – the victim may be unable to lift one or both arms and hold them due to arm weakness or numbness
- Speech – the victim’s speech may be slurred or garbled, or they may be unable to talk at all despite appearing awake
- Time – If any of the above symptoms are spotted – it is time to dial 999 immediately.
How Is A Stroke Treated?
Treatment is dependent on the type of stroke suffered, which part of the brain was affected, and what caused it. Most commonly, the stroke recovery timeline begins with medicinal treatment, with drugs provided to prevent and remove blood clots, reduce blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels. In some advanced cases, surgery may be required to clear fatty deposits in your arteries, or to repair the damage caused by a haemorrhagic stroke.
Following the initial treatment, the process of rehabilitation begins, which will again be case-specific and dependent on the severity of symptoms. A team of specialists including physiotherapists, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and specialist nurses and doctors will likely cooperate to provide the appropriate care.
What Are The Effects of Stroke Misdiagnosis?
The damage caused by a stroke can be widespread and long-lasting. In some cases, a long period of rehabilitation is required before former independence is resumed, whilst in other cases full recovery is impossible. The condition of stroke sufferers is always extremely upsetting for their close friends and family, and these psychological effects can only be worsened when they may be accountable to the misdiagnosis of a trusted professional which has delayed the necessary treatment.
Those who have suffered from a stroke which has been allowed to progress unchecked, may need specialist equipment and care to help them perform their everyday faculties due to the irreversible brain damage it may cause. This poses financial strain on themselves and their families. The compensation a successful medical negligence claim can acquire may be what is required to secure a stable future for the stroke sufferer and their family.
Our Stroke Misdiagnosis Claims Experience
Errors arising from cases of stroke misdiagnosis may hold dire repercussions for patients. At Asons, we understand what clinical negligence is, and the detrimental effect it has on victims. The consequences may not just be physical – potential financial difficulties where time is taken off work for a false diagnosis must also be considered, and the ensuing stress could elicit negative psychological consequences.
We know that victims are often hesitant to come forward with their claims. As medical negligence solicitors, it’s our job to do everything within our means to make the process as straightforward as possible. We take the time to thoroughly research and understand your situation so that we can secure stroke compensation which will support you – both now and in future. This may involve assessing your future treatment and care needs and the costs of adapting your home, purchasing mobility aids and other supportive equipment. We take all factors into account when preparing your stroke misdiagnosis claim because this ensures the best possible outcome for you and your family.
As with any claim, you may be worried about the potential costs of pursuing your clinical negligence case. To address this common concern, we have devised a variety of options to help you. We help acquire all the assistance that you are entitled to, whilst managing resulting compensation in the most beneficial way possible. We must remind you to be quick, however, as there are time limits in place for making claims of this kind.
We deal with medical negligence claims on a regular basis. If you are suffering as a result of misdiagnosis, you may be eligible to make a claim. Our Medical Negligence Solicitors will work to collate all of the appropriate paperwork and documentation, whilst speaking to the parties involved, substantiating your claim.
If you would like specialist support and guidance if you or someone in your family has suffered a stroke, the Stroke Association provides a number of vital support services across the UK to help sufferers and their families.