A stroke is a medical term used to describe a situation where the brain suffers permanent injury due to an interruption of its blood supply.
While some strokes occur without notice, many are detectable.
Thus, after experiencing a stroke, many patients and their loved ones wonder whether the stroke was preventable.
Indeed, misdiagnosis of a stroke is not uncommon, and patients may have a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor based on a stroke misdiagnosis.
What Causes a Stroke?
Strokes occur when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain. There are several different types of strokes, depending on what interrupted the blood flow.
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel inside the brain ruptures, causing an increase in pressure in the brain cavity. These are often referred to as “brain bleeds.”
An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the arteries, limiting the amount of blood that reaches the brain.
Transient Ischemic Strokes
Transient ischemic strokes are the result of a brief interruption of the brain’s blood supply.
If unaddressed, a transient ischemic stroke usually indicates that a more serious stroke will occur in the near future.
A cryptogenic stroke is a term used by doctors to describe a stroke for which the cause is unknown.
Are Strokes Preventable?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 80% of strokes are preventable. Risk factors also play a major role in stroke prevention. The leading cause of stroke in the United States is high blood pressure.
Aside from high blood pressure, some of the most common risk factors for stroke include:
- Heart disease,
- Taking birth control pills,
- Having a high red blood cell count,
- Lack of exercise,
- Drug use,
- Heart irregularities,
- Alcohol use, and
While doctors cannot control a patient’s diet and exercise habits, they can—and should—monitor patients’ blood pressure and prescribe medication when appropriate.
Doctors should also inform patients when they exhibit multiple stroke risk factors and advise them to take the necessary precautions.
Additionally, patients who experience a transient ischemic stroke are at especially high risk.
It is imperative that doctors correctly diagnose a transient ischemic stroke to determine the appropriate treatment regimen.
Misdiagnosis of stroke can expose a patient to a much higher risk of a future stroke.
Did You Suffer Permanent Injuries As a Result of a Misdiagnosis of a Stroke?
If you or a loved one recently experienced a stroke and believe that the negligence of healthcare providers may be responsible, reach out to the dedicated New Mexico medical malpractice attorneys at Poulos & Coates, LLP.
We understand what you and your family are going through during the difficult time, and we want to do everything we can to get you on the road to recovery.
Our attorneys have more than 70 years of experience helping patients pursue the justice they deserve after suffering serious injuries because of a healthcare provider’s negligent actions, including a misdiagnosis of stroke.