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Strokes, treatment and the law: issues to consider

Each year in the United States, there are more than 800,000 strokes, according to the National Institutes of Health. Every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke and every four minutes someone dies from it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet medical studies have found that about 9% of patients who present to emergency departments with stroke were initially misdiagnosed or diagnosed late. In cases where patients had mild, nonspecific, or transient neurological disorders, such as comorbid headaches and dizziness, a 2017 study found misdiagnoses ranged from 24 to 60 percent.

Plaintiffs’ theories of liability in stroke litigation include delayed diagnosis and treatment of acute strokes, failure to recognize and treat evolving aneurysms, and failure to educate patients on anticoagulation about required monitoring. . To be clear: prompt diagnosis and treatment can mean the difference between recovery with little or no disability and permanent brain damage, disability or death. As stroke cases are complex in nature and require extensive medical and legal knowledge, including the ability to build a case with several highly specialized experts, we offer this overview of issues to consider when assessing a potential case of stroke.

Types of stroke and treatment