Late Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis of Stroke
Having a stroke can impact a patient’s health in a variety of ways, all of which will depend on where in the brain the stroke has occurred and how much of the surrounding area was damaged. A stroke is considered to be a medical emergency.
Brain impairment can alter a person's thoughts and feelings as well as the way their body functions. Any delay in treatment could have disastrous effects. When suffering a stroke, it is vital that the correct treatment is administered as soon as possible to minimise the extent of harm experienced overall.
If you have suffered brain impairment after a stroke because medical professionals did not diagnose your stroke early enough, or because valuable treatment time was wasted due to an initial misdiagnosis, then you could be entitled to making a medical negligence claim.
A brain injury can have a devastating impact on families and loved ones, especially when the extent of the damage could have been avoided if the medical team responsible for your care had acted appropriately. But the good news is that there is help available.
With the right solicitors on your side, you can potentially make a claim for compensation.
We understand that no amount of financial compensation could ever ‘make up’ for the pain that stroke negligence causes. But with the right solicitor, you could make a successful claim that helps to alleviate some of the financial burden that medical negligence causes.
Why choose us?
Our medical negligence, accident, and personal injury solicitors team have been working hard to assist our clients in getting the best results since 1997.
At SDS Solicitors, our staff has a wealth of first-hand experience working with, advising, defending, and advocating for our clients, many of whom have regrettably had to deal with medical negligence and have filed successful stroke negligence claims.
Medical staff are supposed to treat all their patients with the highest standard of care. This means that your symptoms should be closely monitored and diagnosed accordingly. Failure to do so may mean that the standard of care was not met. If this is found to be the case, it may be considered medical negligence.
We work with clients from all over England and Wales to ascertain whether they have a claim and to assist them with the claims process.
Call us for free at the number at the top of the page to find out what you could be entitled to and what your next steps should be. Alternatively, you can fill out our contact form, and a member of our knowledgeable team will respond as soon as possible.
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when the blood flow to a portion of the brain is cut off. This can cause extreme damage and, in some cases, the death of brain cells.
There are two main types of stroke: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.
Ischemic stroke: This is the most common type of stroke, and it occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked by a blood clot or other substance. This prevents blood from reaching the brain, which can cause brain cells to die.
Haemorrhagic stroke: This type of stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain tissue. This can also cause brain cells to die.
Symptoms of a stroke can include sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; difficulty speaking or understanding speech; sudden vision changes; dizziness or loss of balance; and severe headache.
How can medical negligence occur in strokes?
Medical negligence can occur in the case of a stroke in a number of ways. Here are a few examples:
Failure to diagnose a stroke
If a healthcare provider fails to recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke and does not order the appropriate tests or refer the patient to a specialist, it can lead to a delay in treatment and potentially cause further damage to the brain.
Delay in treatment
If a stroke is not treated promptly, it can cause irreparable damage to the brain and result in disability or death. If a healthcare provider fails to act quickly to diagnose and treat a stroke, it could be considered medical negligence.
If a healthcare provider administers the wrong treatment or fails to follow established treatment guidelines for stroke, it can result in harm to the patient.
It is important to note that not all adverse outcomes or complications following a stroke are the result of medical negligence. However, if you believe that your stroke was the result of medical negligence, it is important to speak with a medical expert and a solicitor to determine if you have a case.
What is a stroke misdiagnosis?
Different regions of the brain control different regions of the body. This helps to explain, in part, why everyone who experiences a stroke will experience something slightly different.
However, generally speaking, stroke symptoms will come on suddenly. You can stay aware and recognise when someone is having a stroke (and call for the help they need) by remembering FAST:
- Face - are they unable to smile, or has their mouth, eye or one side of their face dropped?
- Arms - are they able to lift both of their arms and keep them raised?
- Speech - is their speech slurred, or do they have difficulty speaking to or understanding you?
- Time - if the answer to any of these questions is yes, it is time to call 999.
Despite these common symptoms, a stroke can still be misdiagnosed. This is extremely dangerous, because misdiagnosis can lead to doctors administering the wrong treatment for the patient, meanwhile their stroke is left to cause severe damage.
Even a late diagnosis of a stroke can have disastrous effects - because when a patient is suffering with such a serious emergency, every second counts.
What are the consequences of a stroke misdiagnosis?
In some cases, a stroke may cause irreversible damage to a portion of brain tissue. However, there is tissue that may sustain injury from reduced blood flow while still functioning. Interventions are focused on this region of the brain, as the damage here may be reversible.
Medical history, a clinical examination, and an expert evaluation of imaging scans all contribute to a prompt, precise diagnosis. Brain tissue will die if blood flow is not restored to it within the first few hours of the beginning of symptoms, and the damage then will typically be irreparable.
The results of ignoring or misdiagnosing symptoms might range from minor impairment to death, because the longer that the medical team administers the wrong treatment for the wrong condition, the more brain damage the patient will unfortunately suffer through before receiving a correct diagnosis.
A person's entire life can be impacted by a delay in treatment. Some stroke patients require a lengthy period of rehabilitation before they can regain their independence, while others never fully recover and require ongoing care.
Local governments should provide free rehabilitative services to anyone who needs them. These services help the stroke survivor learn or relearn the skills necessary to live independently at home. However, some individuals will continue to require care or assistance with daily activities.
If you, or someone close to you, have experienced harm (be it physical, psychological, financial or all three) as a direct result of suffering caused by a late diagnosis or misdiagnosis of a stroke, then you could be entitled to compensation.
My stroke was misdiagnosed. How do I know if I have a claim?
While a stroke misdiagnosis will, unfortunately, almost always lead to a patient experiencing further harm than if their condition had been correctly diagnosed right away, a stroke misdiagnosis is not always considered to be medical negligence.
For example, if your medical team followed the correct procedure, but your symptoms were not obviously that of a stroke (to the point that other medical professionals could also have made the same misdiagnosis or late diagnosis) then any harm you experienced as a result of this delay may be deemed unavoidable. In this instance, your late stroke diagnosis or misdiagnosis may not be considered negligent, and you would therefore be unable to seek compensation.
However, if your stroke was misdiagnosed, or you received a late diagnosis, despite obvious signs that any other medical professional would have correctly diagnosed, and you experienced harm (which could have been avoided) as a result of this error, then you could have experienced negligence and may be entitled to compensation.
To ascertain whether you do have a claim, how much you could be entitled to and how to go about making your claim, seeking out the right legal counsel is essential. With the right legal team at your side, you can begin to take the necessary steps needed to move forward.
No amount of money can ever take away from the trauma that you and your loved ones have gone through, but an experienced solicitor can advocate for you on your behalf, and help you to claim for the right level of compensation to help alleviate some of the financial burden that victims of stroke misdiagnosis negligence will so often struggle with.
At SDS Solicitors, our knowledgeable team has extensive experience helping victims of medical negligence get the compensation they deserve. If we decide that you might be entitled to compensation, we can also help you file a claim by providing experienced legal counsel and supporting you every step of the way.
To find out if you or a loved one may be eligible for compensation, contact us right away.
Established in Manchester in 1997, we are a leading specialist personal injury, accident and medical negligence law firm acting for victims of non-fault incidents, such as misdiagnosis negligence.
Our Medical Negligence Solicitors, act regularly for clients across Greater Manchester including Ashton, Bury, Bolton, Radcliffe, Prestwich, Middleton, Failsworth, Rochdale, Oldham and Whitefield.
The team of Stroke Misdiagnosis Claims Solicitors at Sheldon Davidson Solicitors can support your needs wherever you live in Northern Ireland or England and Wales.
We specialise in no win no fee injury claims, which means if you don't win, you won't have to pay.
Call us for free now using the number at the top of the page or complete the online contact form and a member of our team will get back to you.
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors are a Lexcel accredited personal injury law firm. The Lexcel standard is only awarded by the Law Society to firms who meet the highest standards of practice management and customer service.
With Sheldon Davidson Solicitors in Whitefield, Manchester you can be confident that your Stroke Misdiagnosis Compensation Claim is in safe hands.