Medical Malpractice Lawyer Charlottesville, VA
When a person has a stroke, the blood flow to their brain is being disturbed by either bleeding of the brain or a blood clot. More than 150,000 people die from strokes each year and those that do survive are often left with permanent, often severe, disabilities which have a significant impact on the patient’s cognitive and physical abilities. Although there is a wide array of treatments which are effective in preventing strokes and treating a patient who has suffered a stroke, there are far too many patients who are misdiagnosed and do not receive those treatments in time or at all. These failures can result in serious, even fatal, consequences.
Types of Strokes
There are two types of strokes a patient can suffer, ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. When a patient suffers an ischemic stroke, a clot develops in an artery, which blocks the supply of oxygen and blood to the brain. This is the most common type of stroke and the condition can sometimes be hereditary. Other people at risk for developing clots include patients who have high blood pressure, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, or have had invasive surgery. There are different medications that a patient can take which can help prevent plaque from building up and blood clots.
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel breaks, causing bleeding in the brain. The immediate treatment a patient must receive is controlling the bleeding and reducing the pressure that has built in the brain. There are medications doctors can give to patients that will help slow the bleeding and reduce their blood pressure. If there has been a rupture of a blood vessel, then the patient may need surgery in order to repair that rupture.
Malpractice and Strokes
If a patient suffers a stroke that could have been prevented, State law enables that patient to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical professional who was negligent in their treatment and care of the patient. Examples of cases where there may be malpractice include:
- Failure of the physician to conduct the appropriate diagnostic test that would reveal a possible stroke.
- Misdiagnosis of a stroke that results in the failure to correctly treat the patient’s condition.
- Failure to prescribe anticoagulants for patients who suffer with atrial fibrillation or other stroke risk factors.
- Failure to administer tissue plasminogen activator, a medication that is proven and acceptable stroke treatment.
- Negligence or other mistreatment during a surgical procedure which can lead to hypotension (a stroke risk factor).
When a patient suffers a stroke, the damage to their health, as well as their quality of life, can be catastrophic. Medical research and development have come so far that many strokes can be avoided when the at-risk patient is given the right treatments. But if their doctor fails to recognize those risks and take the medical steps needed to prevent or treat strokes, they are being negligent in their care of the patient.