Misdiagnosis - StrokeA stroke transpires when the blood flow to a region of the brain is cut off, typically resulting in a clot. With the blood flow cut off, that particular area of the brain is deprived of oxygen and begins to die. Studies show that almost 85 percent of all strokes result from a blood clot or other impediment in an artery, while the remaining 15 percent of strokes result from a broken blood vessel that leaks blood into the brain.

Stroke is not only considered to be the leading cause of disability in adults, but is also the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer, with approximately 160,000 individuals dying of stroke every year.

A pulmonary embolism almost always results from a blood clot that begins in the large veins of the leg and travels up into the lungs, partially or fully blocking an artery. Since a pulmonary embolism blocks major blood vessels, it can be life-threatening and can cause irreversible damage if not caught in time. Similar to a stroke, this dangerous medical condition may be treatable if the condition is diagnosed early on.

According to the National Institutes of Health, over 100,000 cases of pulmonary embolism occur every year. Studies also show that a pulmonary embolism is the third most common cause of fatality among patients who are hospitalized after surgery, for an accident, or for other reasons. Roughly 30 percent of all cases of undiagnosed or untreated pulmonary embolism will result in a fatality.

When you or a loved one suffers from a stroke or a pulmonary embolism, immediate and proper treatment can make all the difference.

Causes and risk factors of stroke

Numerous things can cause a stroke to occur. These include:

  • Aneurysms
  • Deep vein thrombosis and other blood clots
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Hypertension
  • Certain medications

Many factors can increase an individual’s risk of suffering a stroke. These risk factors include:

  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Binge or heavy drinking
  • Use of cocaine, methamphetamines and other illicit drugs
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Cigarette smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Heart defects, heart failure, heart infection, abnormal heart rhythm and other cardiovascular diseases
  • Being over 55 years of age
  • Family or personal history of heart attack or stroke

Causes and risk factors of pulmonary embolism

As mentioned above, a pulmonary embolism occurs when the artery carrying blood to the lungs becomes blocked. More often than not, this blockage results from a blood clot. In rare cases, however, pulmonary embolism may also be caused by other substances such as:

  • An air bubble or substances that get into the blood from surgery, trauma, or medical procedures
  • A fat droplet, which may be released into the bloodstream after trauma, surgery, bone fractures, or severe burns
  • Tumors stemming from growing cancer cells
  • Small masses of infectious material

Factors that can greatly increase the chances of developing deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are:

  • Obesity
  • Major surgery
  • Family history of embolisms
  • History of stroke or heart attack
  • Cancer
  • Fractures in the hip or leg
  • Genetic blood clotting disorders
  • Taking testosterone or estrogen
  • Being over 60 years of age
  • A sedentary lifestyle

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms of a stroke are:

  • Paralysis on one side of the body
  • Numbness or weakness of the arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Facial drooping
  • Difficulty in speaking and understanding speech
  • Blurred or dimmed vision
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
  • Loss of coordination or balance
  • Loss of consciousness

Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Anxiety
  • Rapid pulse
  • Pain or swelling in one leg
  • Redness
  • Sharp chest pain
  • Intense sweating

It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a stroke and pulmonary embolism.

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

Professional standard of care

The professional standard of care is an essential legal concept when it comes to medical malpractice claims. To be successful in your claim, you and your attorney must be able to establish that the medical professional involved breached the standard of care expected of him or her in treating a pulmonary embolism or stroke. This refers to the level of care, treatment, and skill that would be deemed appropriate by reasonably sensible health care professionals placed in similar situations.

If your doctor or medical professional acted in a manner different or below the standard of care that other medical professionals would have provided, such as by failing to run a test or failing to notice the signs of a stroke, then he or she may have possibly breached the standard of care.

Compassionate medical malpractice lawyer ready to help

The failure to diagnose symptoms of a stroke or pulmonary embolism can make all the difference between a full recovery and either permanent disability or death. If you have suffered injuries or you have lost a family member due to a stroke or pulmonary embolism misdiagnosis, The Fitch Law Firm can help you file a medical malpractice lawsuit and seek compensation for the injuries you have sustained.

We are here to fight for you and help you get the justice you deserve. Call The Fitch Law Firm at 855-LAW-OHIO or fill out our online consultation form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Ohio malpractice attorney.