When is a stroke a cause for a malpractice claim?

Iatrogenic stroke

Although they can occur suddenly in any setting and without warning , if a stroke was caused by the action or inaction of a medical professional that falls below the accepted standard of care, it could lead to a case of medical malpractice. Symptoms or disease that is caused by medical care is referred to as iatrogenic. Iatrogenic strokes, therefore, are those strokes that are caused by medical care or treatment.

Failure to Treat Stroke

A stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate recognition and treatment. Failure to timely recognize and treat symptoms can seriously degrade a patient’s outcome. Strokes can lead to serious consequences and early intervention can improve the patient’s prospects for recovery. When diagnosis or treatment is delayed, in certain circumstances, responsible healthcare providers may be at fault.

In this article, we’ll talk about the complexities of medical malpractice involving stroke. We’ll discuss what a stroke is, common causes, and malpractice considerations.

Understanding Stroke and Its Medical Management

A stroke is an event in which the blood supply to the brain is disrupted, leading to brain damage or cell death. There are different causes and types of strokes, including:

  • Cerebrovascular accident (also known as CVA)
  • Hemorrhagic stroke (includes intracerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage)
  • Ischemic stroke (includes both thrombotic and embolic stroke)

Standard of Care in Stroke Management

Prompt diagnosis and treatment of stroke are crucial to minimize the long-term consequences and improve patient outcomes. Medical professionals must adhere to the standard of care in stroke management. The standard of care requires timely administration of clot-busting medications, identification of underlying causes, and appropriate rehabilitation and follow-up care.

If doctors or medical facilities do not properly diagnose a stroke, or fail to treat its symptoms, a medical malpractice lawsuit could lead to compensation for the victim.

In rare cases, medical treatment can bring about a stroke.  If it can be proven by medical expert testimony that the stroke was directly related to medical treatment given, the treatment provider may be at fault for the stroke.

Events leading to Malpractice Claims with Stroke

Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis

In some cases, medical professionals may fail to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke, or may misdiagnose the condition, leading to treatment delays or improper management. Prompt diagnosis is critical, as the timely administration of thrombolytic medications can significantly reduce the extent of brain damage.

Failure to Provide Timely Treatment

Medical professionals must give thrombolytic therapy or perform endovascular procedures within a specific time window. If medical professionals fail to provide timely treatment, it may be malpractice.

Inadequate Follow-up Care

Following a stroke, patients require extensive post-stroke care, including rehab, monitoring for complications, and appropriate lifestyle modifications.  Neglecting to provide adequate post-stroke care or failing to address complications may be considered negligent.

Surgical or Medication Error

A surgeon using improper technique cause bleeding or can disrupt the supply of blood to the brain. Certain medications, improperly prescribed, can lead to stroke.

Seeking Justice for Stroke Malpractice

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a stroke resulting from malpractice, or if you think a stroke may have been the result of malpractice, consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.  Attorneys like those at Wallace Wason, PLLC will review your case, help you gather evidence, consult with experts, and guide you through the process.

Remember that seeking justice not only helps hold negligent medical professionals to account, it can also provide compensation for the damages suffered. Contact us today to start your free case evaluation of your stroke malpractice lawsuit.

Image Credit: