Each year, 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. And for those who survive, strokes are also a leading cause of disability. However, strokes can be enigmatic.
Their symptoms—sudden weakness, numbness, paralysis on one side of the body, slurred speech, and blurred vision—can resemble those of other conditions. As a result, doctors sometimes misdiagnose strokes. In this blog post, we will examine different types of strokes, their causes, and how you can get the right compensation in the event of a misdiagnosis.
The Different Kinds of Strokes
Ischemic strokes and cerebral hemorrhages are the two most common types of strokes. Ischemic strokes account for 87% of all strokes, and occur when a blood clot blocks an artery that supplies blood to the brain. A cerebral hemorrhage is a type of stroke caused by a ruptured blood vessel bleeding into the brain.
Another less frequent stroke type is the transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is often called a mini-stroke. This type of stroke happens when a blood clot temporarily blocks an artery to the brain.
Causes of Stroke Misdiagnosis
One reason strokes are misdiagnosed is because their symptoms can mimic those of other conditions. For example, the sudden onset of weakness or paralysis on one side of the body can also be a heart attack symptom. In some cases, the symptoms of a TIA may be so brief that they are dismissed as a “funny turn” or “spell” and not diagnosed as a warning sign of an impending stroke.
Other times, strokes are misdiagnosed because diagnostic tests for strokes are not always reliable. For example, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans are not always able to detect ischemic strokes in their early stages. Occasionally, it is an IT issue. The electronic medical record (EMR) might not be updated in a timely fashion with the results of diagnostic tests, or the order for a test might get lost in the system.