The third leading cause of death in the United States is stroke, killing more than 140,000 people each year. Approximately 795,000 people suffer a stroke each year. Of these, roughly 600,000 are first attacks, while about 185,000 are recurrent attacks.
In 2006, stroke accounted for about one of every 17 deaths in the country. In 2005, stroke mortality was 137,000. According to studies, about 80% of strokes are preventable. It is important to work with a qualified and experienced medical professional to lower the risk of suffering a stroke.
Many patients do not realize that as many as 20% of strokes are misdiagnosed. This can result in delay in proper treatment or even in providing treatment that causes further harm to the patient. When this type of error is made, the patient, or the family members of a deceased patient, can file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor.
Misdiagnosis of Stroke
Two basic types of stroke exist - ischemic, which is caused by a blood clot, and hemorrhagic, which is caused by bleeding. It is not only paramount for a doctor to determine whether a patient is suffering a stroke but also determine the type of stroke. The medication for one type can have seriously negative effects on a patient suffering from the other type.
A patient with stroke-like symptoms may be misdiagnosed even after the doctor has conducted imaging tests. Misdiagnosis may be in the form of either diagnosing the stroke as another illness or disease or failure to properly diagnose the type of stroke the patient is suffering. Some diseases that can be difficult to differentiate from a stroke include a tumor, hypoglycemia, and seizures.
Proving that Misdiagnosis Amounts to Malpractice
A doctor performs what is referred to as a differential diagnosis when they assess patients who present with a potential health problem. This means that the doctor makes a list of potential medical conditions that could be causing the patient's symptoms, conducts a series of tests and then rules out various medical conditions that do match up to the results of the tests until they can determine a definitive diagnosis.
In order to hold a doctor legally liable for medical malpractice, it is required for the patient to show how the physician deviated from the accepted medical standard of care when they conducted the differential diagnosis. This is usually done through the patient's attorney and a retained medical expert who will testify for the patient.
The patient and attorney walk the jury through what a reasonable skilled doctor would have done under similar circumstances and how they would not have made the same error. They will then how the course of treatment chosen by the doctor did not meet that standard of care.
If you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed by your doctor when you suffered a stroke and caused harm or injury, you should immediately contact one of the qualified and experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falloff, & Wolff of RMFW Law at 212-344-1000.
We know how to win cases. We know what it takes to win a case. The first meeting is free. What do you have to say? Do you have a viable case, let's find out. You lose nothing by calling us. RMFW Law has won millions of dollars for past clients, you too can be on this stellar list.
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