Delays in Diagnosing a Stroke Can be Serious Oregon Medical Malpractice

Oregon Medical Malpractice: Delays in Diagnosing a Stroke


We have all heard of a stroke.  According to the CDC, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds and every 4 minutes someone dies of a stroke.  We do not need to be a medical professional to know that a stroke must be quickly treated.  The longer that a stroke is not treated, the longer that there is a deprivation of oxygen to the brain.  The longer the deprivation, the more brain damage.  This is why a delay in treating a stroke can be due to careless, reckless, or negligent conduct.


Types of Strokes


There are two types of strokes.  The first is an “ischemic stroke, which is when blood clots a blood vessel in the brain.  This is commonly due to “plaque,” which is a build up of fat and cholesterol in the arteries which creates an obstruction.  This is the most common type of stroke.


The second type of stroke is a hemorrhagic stroke.  This is a significantly more deadly type of stroke, although it is less common.  This is when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and leaks blood into the brain.  This creates pressure on the brain which can cause brain damage and injury resulting in death.


Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke


There are telltale signs that a person is having a stroke which do not require a medical degree to diagnose.  For instance, a person having a stroke may have numbness or weakness on one side of the body.  A classic test is to ask a person to smile, and if one side is drooping, then it is likely the person is having a stroke.  Another test is impaired speech or confusion.  Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase like “today is Tuesday and it is sunny.”  If the person cannot say this without slurrying words or mixing up the order, a stroke is likely.


There are other symptoms which can be confused with other conditions, but when mixed with any of the above make it clear the person is having a stroke.  For instance, if a person is having visible problems in one or both eyes, is dizzy, having coordination problems, or have a sudden and painful headache, it is further likely that the person is having a stroke.


Delays in Diagnosing a Stroke or Misdiagnosing a Stroke


It may seem impossible that, given the easy-to-recognize symptoms above, that a stroke is still misdiagnosed by trained medical professionals.  But for some continued reason these types of medical malpractice cases are all still a problem and common.  Victims can suffering catastrophic injuries and wrongful death when they are misdiagnosed or delayed in diagnosis of a stroke.


Some common reasons include the following:


  • Understaffed emergency rooms;
  • Ill-trained staff;
  • Triage nurse errors;
  • Negligent hiring of staff and nurses;
  • Failed evaluations;
  • Too many residents and not enough doctors/attendings;
  • Failure to recognize the symptoms;
  • Improperly performing tests;
  • Misinterpreting test results; and
  • Many other causes.


Delays in Treating a Stroke Can Lead to Catastrophic Personal Injury 


While both types of strokes are dangerous, a hemorrhagic stroke that is misdiagnosed is a death sentence.  Patients will be seriously injured or killed when that treatment is delayed.  Treatment that is delayed for ischemic strokes will continue to cause worse and worse brain damage until it is treated.  When these delays are caused by careless or reckless conduct, it may be caused by Oregon medical malpractice.


If you or a loved one may have been misdiagnosed or had a delay in diagnosing a stroke, please call Kuhlman Law, LLC to learn what your rights may be.  We handle cases throughout Oregon and Central Oregon, including Deschutes County, Redmond, Sisters, La Pine, Madras, Prineville, The Dalles, Hood River, Clackamas, Corvallis, Albany, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tigard, Salem, Portland, Vancouver, Washington, Beaverton, Oregon City, Eugene, Coos Bay, Astoria, Newport, Pendleton, Tillamook,  Milwaukie, Gresham, Hillsboro, Medford, and any other city, including Bend, Oregon where our main law office is located, please call Kuhlman Law, LLC by dialing (541) 385-1999 to learn what your rights to compensation you may have.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to get you the answers you deserve, all for free.  There is no risk, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.


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