As a medical negligence lawyer, I have reviewed numerous cases involving a delayed diagnosis of stroke, misdiagnosis of stroke, negligent failure to prevent stroke or take stroke precautions, and delayed treatment of stroke. One presenting sign of stroke is a transient ischemic or TIA. A TIA may be evidence that the patient is suffering from occlusion of the arteries supplying blood to the brain or a shower of clots. Following is a discussion of how TIAs may factor into the analysis of a medical negligence claim.
To win a medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove three things: negligence, causation and damages. Negligence occurs when the care provided by a doctor or nurse falls below accepted standards of medical care. Negligence can be an act or failure to act (omission). Causation is proven when the act negligence results in harm. Damages is the term medical malpractice lawyers use to characterize the harm, Including noneconomic losses like pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of usual activities, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life, and economic losses like loss of earnings and benefits, loss of earning capacity, medical and hospital expenses, future costs of medical care and other life care costs.
The onset of a TIA can herald a stroke. Fortunately, with prompt diagnosis, the risk of stroke can be mitigated through medications, including blood thinners (anticoagulation), aspirin or other antiplatelet medications and surgery. An international registry shows that the risk of stroke after TIA has been slashed.
TIA symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, faintness, fainting, syncope or temporary neurological signs like aphasia, facial droop or one-sided neurological deficits like weakness or tingling. When a patient who has risk factors for stroke experiences these symptoms, a thorough workup is required. Major risk factors include age, diabetes, obesity, alcohol abuse and heart disease. When a patient with these symptoms and risk factors presents to an ER, emergency department or doctor’s office, a thorough investigation is required.
The investigation needed to rule out impending stroke, may include auscultation of the carotid arteries, ultrasound, EKG, and echocardiogram, or referral to a neurosurgeon or vascular surgeon. Failure to perform an investigation may support a medical negligence lawsuit.
A doctor’s failure to undertake an intensive investigation when a patient has symptoms of a TIA and the patient goes on to suffer a stroke, can constitute medical negligence. In order to determine if you have a meritorious medical negligence claim, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer will have to review all relevant medical records, taking into account the length of the delay in diagnosis, the type of stroke, the severity of the stroke, and other circumstances. If you or a loved one suffered a stroke after a TIA, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Cleveland, OH, such as from Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co, LPA, for a free consultation.