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Strokes caused by Medical Negligence

A stroke can have a devastating impact on a person's quality of life.

The signs of stroke are well publicised, but what happens when your doctor fails to identify them? Stroke misdiagnosis can be extremely dangerous; the longer treatment is delayed, the worse the effects of the stroke will be. The complications of a stroke can be life-changing and, in some cases, fatal.

If you or a loved one has been affected by stroke misdiagnosis, contact our team of clinical negligence solicitors now to discuss your claim.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a form of brain injury; it occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off and the brain's supply of oxygen and nutrients is dramatically reduced. Strokes are classified as medical emergencies, and it is essential that suspected stroke victims access medical care as soon as possible to limit the damage sustained.

There are two main types of stroke - ischaemic and haemorrhagic. Ischaemic strokes are caused by blood clots and are the most common form of strokes, accounting for more than 88%; haemorrhagi0c strokes, on the other hand, occur when a blood vessel near the brain bursts, such as in the case of subarachnoid haemorrhages.

Strokes usually occur without warning and are difficult to predict, although certain risk factors have been identified (such as smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure). Sometimes, though, a stroke can be preceded by a so-called mini stroke, or TIA - transient ischaemic attack. These brief strokes only last a few minutes, but are a vital sign that a bigger stroke is on the horizon. It is therefore imperative that TIAs are investigated properly by doctors; failure to recognise the significance of a TIA could cause a patient to become seriously ill. If you feel you were ignored by your doctor and became seriously ill, contact us today to discuss your claim.

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

Symptoms associated with a stroke manifest quickly. The face, arms and speech are typically affected and signs include:

  • The person's face, mouth or eye having dropped on one side of the face
  • Slurred speech or the mouth moving but no words coming out
  • Weakness in one arm, or an ability to move an arm due to numbness

Although the symptoms of a stroke are well known, they are also symptoms of many other, less serious conditions. Occasionally, doctors misinterpret the signs of stroke and diagnose the patient incorrectly with a less serious disease such as a migraine or an ear infection. Misdiagnosing a stroke is extremely dangerous as the more time that passes between a stroke happening and a stroke being treated, the more damage that is caused to the brain.

Complications associated with strokes are common and may be physical or mental. Physical complications include muscle weakness, numbness, problems carrying out normal, everyday activities, and problems with vision and hearing. Therapy, such as physiotherapy, is often prescribed to help those suffering from muscular issues to regain some of the movement they once had. Physical therapies can also be useful in encouraging independence. Communication may also be difficult after stroke as many patients lose the ability to speak properly, perform gestures associated with body language, and use facial expression to convey emotion. Speech and language therapy may be required to help recover the ability to communicate. Brain damage associated with stroke may also affect patients' cognitive abilities, causing memory loss, attention problems, and even dementia. The complications associated with having a stroke are likely to be reduced if the stroke is recognised quickly and treatment is administered; in cases where strokes are missed, however, or treatment is unnecessarily delayed, complications are often much worse. Misdiagnosis and delayed stroke treatment both constitute medical negligence on account of the devastating impact delayed treatment can have on a stroke victim’s life.

Why should I claim?

If you or a loved one has been affected by stroke misdiagnosis, or clinical negligence associated with treatment for a stroke, then you have a right to make a claim and seek compensation. Here at Grieves, we understand the devastation that clinical negligence in stroke cases can cause, having won a number of cases in recent years.

Our expert team will support you throughout the investigation, helping you to secure the compensation you are entitled to. The money you receive could be used to help fund rehabilitative therapy or care, or to cover a loss of earnings. Contact us today to discuss your case.