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Is My Doctor Liable For Missing Stroke Symptoms?

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A stroke is an extremely dangerous medical condition which occurs when blood supply to the brain is limited or stopped.  This lack of blood flow restricts nutrients and oxygen required by the brain, and causes brain cells to die within a few minutes.  A stroke requires immediate medical attention in order to help diagnose potential problems and begin treatment.  Additionally, stroke damage can range from mild mini-strokes called TIAs (transient ischemic attack), to permanent damage, or even death.  Without proper medical diagnosis and treatment, the severity and frequency of strokes frequently increases over time.  If your physician negligently does not recognize and diagnose a stroke when the symptoms are present, then he or she may be held liable for injury caused by their failure to treat the problem.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Stroke symptoms can appear slowly or suddenly with no warning.  It is crucial to know the warning signs often associated with a stroke so that medical attention can begin immediately for the person having the stroke.  Some symptoms that can occur, according to the American Stroke Association are:

  • Difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Difficulty speaking and understanding — slurred speech or trouble remembering the right words
  • Numbness or paralysis on one side of the body, especially in the face, arm or leg
  • Difficulty seeing — vision may be blurred or completely lost, in one eye or both
  • Headache — severe, sudden headache with no known cause
  • Vomiting

If you or a loved one has experienced any of these symptoms, is it crucial that you consult with a knowledgeable physician immediately.  Not all warning signs occur with every person having a stroke.  Even if signs go away, you should immediately call 9-1-1.  The sooner treatment is started, the higher the potential for a better outcome.

Negligence and Medical Malpractice

All medical professionals are required to uphold a standard of care for every patient they treat.  This means the doctor must provide the same level of care that any other physician would in a similar situation.  Failure to comply with the established care practices is negligence and puts the patient at risk for injury.  Negligence, in and of itself, is not enough to prove medical malpractice.  In order for a malpractice lawsuit to be established, the physician’s negligence must have directly caused harm to the patient.  For example, if you went to the emergency room with stroke symptoms and the physician said you were fine when you were actually having a serious stroke, then the physician would be acting negligently.  Since you were not given the treatment necessary while having the stroke, damage was likely caused and the physician could be charged with medical malpractice.

How Can Carr & Carr Help Me?

If you are considering a claim against a physician or medical office because of medical malpractice, then you need to email the experienced Oklahoma and Arkansas medical malpractice lawyers at Carr & Carr, Attorneys At Law.  Our medical malpractice lawyers can advise you on filing a lawsuit and explain the steps involved.  No matter where you live in the state of Oklahoma, Carr & Carr Attorneys can assist you in determining a plan of action. Call us today at 866-510-0580.

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