Misdiagnosing the Signs of Stroke, a Most Probable Cause of Disability or Wrongful Death

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Medical Dangers | 0 comments

The results of a study that was conducted in 2009, which monitored diagnosis of stroke cases in young adults, showed incidences of misdiagnosis by emergency department medical teams. Of the 57 stroke patients, aged 16 to 50, rushed to emergency rooms, eight were incorrectly diagnosed with a range of conditions that included migraine headache, inner ear disorder, vertigo, seizure, and even alcohol intoxication. Of course they were a few hours later correctly diagnosed with a stroke, but only after having been sent home and later rushed back to the hospital, but with their condition only having gotten worse.

According to the American Stroke Association, the annual number of stroke cases in the US is around half a million; about 200,000 of these attacks have disabling effects, while one third is fatal. Stroke is ranked as the third cause of death and the number one cause of disability in the US. Its typical victims are aged 55 or older; thus, those under 45 years old who are rushed to hospitals seldom get the correct diagnosis despite its revealing symptoms, which include sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arms or legs, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, difficulty speaking, difficulty seeing either from one or both eyes, and severe headache.

A stroke, also called Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA), is a result of the cessation of blood flow to areas of the brain. One of its known causes is blood clot in the blood vessels due to cholesterol plaque. Some patients experience a warning or mini stroke, known as Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), before having a
major or large one; TIA usually lasts for 20 minutes since the flow of blood resumes after an attack.

Immediately recognizing the signs of stroke can prevent the onset of its effects, which include nerve damage, permanent brain damage or, worst, patient death. Thus far, the only government-approved drug treatment for this debilitating or deadly attack is the tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, which is a clot-busting drug; however, it should be taken by the patient within three hours after symptoms start.

A stroke can permanently alter a person’s (and his/her family’s) life; this is why it’s getting diagnosed early is very critical. Sadly, however, so many individuals are never saved from its disabling or fatal effect due to a doctor’s or healthcare provider’s failure to correctly interpret its symptoms, turning a supposedly preventable attack into a painful experience that can result to disability or wrongful death.

There are various reasons given, explaining why doctors, sometimes, fail to make the correct diagnosis, like failing to pay attention to a patient while describing his/her medical condition, not spending enough time with one patient (to understand more his/her health complaints) due to the large number of other patients needing consultation, failure to require a patient to undergo necessary tests, ignoring warning signs or revealing symptoms, and a simple error in judgment.

A medical malpractice lawyer will likely explain that incorrect diagnosis or misdiagnosis resulting to stroke which, in turn, leads to a patient’s disability or untimely/wrongful death is just one of the many medical errors committed by doctors and other healthcare providers. Any lawyer would also agree that doctors who fail to provide their patients with the standard quality of care expected of them do not only violate their oath to preserve and care for human life but also violate the trust that patients give them. Thus, under the law, patients who suffer preventable harm or injuries due to doctors’ mistakes have the legal right to pursue legal action in order to bring erring doctors to justice as well as to seek compensation for whatever damages they are, and will be, made to suffer.

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Medical Dangers abound for Young and Old Alike

Posted by on Mar 17, 2015 in Medical Dangers | 0 comments

People tend to trust doctors and pharmaceutical companies, and sometimes this trust is misplaced. The incompetence or carelessness of medical practitioners can result in harm to a child. According to the website of The Driscoll Firm, children born with birth defects often face significant challenges their entire lives. The tragedy is that it was preventable if the responsible parties had observed proper standards of care.

The same could be said for drug manufacturers. Prescription medications are often associated with side effects that can be dangerous to the patients or, in the case of pregnant women, to their offspring. This is why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) require drug companies to inform the public and the medical community about possible risks, no matter how remote, that a product may pose to patients. The failure to adequately warn can make them liable for the consequences. A good example of this is Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil).

Benicar is an antihypertensive drug developed by Daiichi Sankyo, a Japanese pharmaceutical company. Forest Labs started promoting it aggressively in the US in 2002 as a safe and efficacious effective drug. However, a Mayo Clinic Proceedings report published in 2012 strongly indicated that Benicar could be causing a condition called sprue-like (mimicking the symptoms of celiac sprue, or celiac disease) enteropathy in patients. True celiac sprue sufferers could manage the disorder by avoiding gluten in food, but not those suffering from sprue-like enteropathy. The condition of patients, with an average age of 69, that stopped taking Benicar improved, but some had suffered permanent damage.

Because Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Labs neglected to warn doctors and patients about this side effect, personal injury lawsuit lawyers filed the first cases in February 2014. New cases are being filed all the time, the latest of which was filed in California on behalf of two male patients who developed sprue-like enteropathy.

If you suffered preventable injuries caused by medical dangers due to the negligence or carelessness of a third party, you have a right to compensation. Contact the appropriate personal injury lawyer in your state to assess your case.

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