Malpractice Treating Strokes

Medical Negligence Attorneys Assisting Individuals on Long Island

Strokes occur when the flow of blood to the brain is interrupted, resulting in the deprivation of oxygen in the brain. When the brain lacks oxygen, its tissue die, leaving those tissues unable to function. After a stroke, a patient may experience partial paralysis, memory loss, or dementia. Significant errors and complications can arise when a doctor fails to recognize the warning signs of a stroke. Immediate diagnosis of the symptoms and their source are critical to obtaining a favorable outcome. At the Long Island firm of Duffy & Duffy, our medical negligence attorneys understand the devastating consequences of careless actions by health care professionals when treating strokes.

Hold Doctors Accountable for Failing to Properly Treat a Stroke

In general, a patient alleging medical malpractice will have to prove that the doctor's conduct fell below the standard of care of a reasonably prudent practitioner with comparable training in similar circumstances. It also will be important to show that the doctor breached the obligation to act according to the standard of care, and that the breach caused an actual injury or damages to the victim. To establish this, it will be necessary to introduce the testimony of an expert witness. He or she can outline what the standard should be in this situation and the specific ways in which the defendant failed to meet it.

When a patient shows signs of an impending stroke, and a doctor fails to initiate tests and immediate treatment, that doctor may be liable for medical malpractice. If a doctor or other emergency personnel fails to recognize that a patient is experiencing a stroke, the patient may suffer significant harm, including permanent brain damage, blindness, speech impairment, paraplegia or quadriplegia, or even death.

Stroke symptoms vary depending on the extent to which the stroke has already damaged the brain, and which area of the brain has been affected. Symptoms can include numbness in the face or extremities, severe headaches, slurring or loss of speech, nausea, fainting, rapid heartbeat or hypertension, paralysis on one side, and loss of balance. Patients may also experience a mini-stroke or transient ischemic attack, which is a warning sign before an actual stroke. The blood supply to the brain is cut off briefly, but no permanent damage results. Your health care professional should recognize that you have experienced a transient ischemic attack and develop a treatment plan to try to prevent a full-scale stroke.

Once a doctor sees warning signs of a stroke, he or she should immediately order a CAT scan to determine whether it is due to a clot or a hemorrhage. Strokes can be the result of a blood clot plugging a vessel in the brain or bleeding in the brain. The symptoms may be the same, but the type of treatment that is warranted depends on the source of the blood flow interruption. In addition to diagnosing the stroke, the doctor will need to diagnose the cause of the stroke and initiate the appropriate tests and treatments. The American Stroke Association recommends that a patient with signs and symptoms of a stroke receive a clot-busting drug shortly after the onset of symptoms. This can stop the progress of the stroke, sometimes resulting in a full recovery.

Explore Your Options After Malpractice with a Long Island Lawyer

The medical malpractice attorneys at Duffy & Duffy are committed to fighting for individuals in Long Island and other regions of New York who have suffered as a result of a doctor's carelessness in treating a stroke. Our clients may be able to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, the cost of household services, and pain and suffering from the health care provider who should have detected their strokes and prevented them from progressing. We represent people throughout the state, including in the Bronx and Queens as well as Nassau, Kings, and Suffolk Counties. Contact us by calling (800) 975-1346 or completing our online form to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys.