A stroke as a serious medical event that may have long-lasting effects on the victim. It occurs when the flow of blood to the brain is disrupted, which stops the flow of oxygen to the brain. Strokes range from mild to severe. The most serious of incidences could cause a lifetime of physical, emotional and mental impairment.
Not every stroke is preventable, but in some cases, a medical error can lead to a stroke. If it does, you may be able to make a claim for damages against the doctor (or facility) if there is evidence of medical malpractice.
Medical errors that might lead to stroke
Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in this country, but they are also a leading cause of unintended injury and illness. Some of the more common mistakes that lead to a stroke include:
- Medication errors. Being given too much medicine or being administered the wrong drug altogether could lead to a stroke. Dangerous drug interactions could also be a root cause. Surprisingly, blood thinners, which are used to prevent stroke, are sometimes to blame for causing a stroke in a healthcare setting.
- Poor communication. Miscommunication between hospital staff, overworked healthcare professionals, and poor medication administration procedures are common reasons why medication errors happen.
- IV errors. Many drugs in hospitals are administered intravenously. Similar to a medication error, if a nurse misunderstands a doctor’s order for an IV and gives too much medication in the drip, a stroke could occur. Or, if a fatigued staff member mistakenly administers the wrong drug into the IV drip, a patient could have a stroke.
- Surgical errors. Many standard surgeries carry the risk of stroke. Heart, brain, and blood vessel operations, in particular, present the most risk. Patients are even more in danger if the surgeon makes an error during the operation. Inexperienced, fatigued, or incompetent surgeons are more likely to make serious errors.
- Neck manipulation. In the past few years, certain chiropractors have come under fire for causing strokes in the patients. An improperly done neck manipulation could actually lead to a stroke in otherwise healthy individuals.
Missed or delayed diagnosis of a stroke
When diagnosing and treating a stroke, timing is critical. Whether a stroke occurs at home, in a doctor’s office or in a hospital, it is up to the treating physician to recognize the signs right away and apply appropriate treatment. A delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis might end up worsening the condition for the patient or lead to permanent brain damage.
Plaxen & Adler, P.A. is a premier medical malpractice law firm that serves clients affected by doctors’ mistakes. Please call 410.988.4449 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation in one of our offices if you suspect a medical error has led to a stroke in your family member. Our Maryland medical malpractice attorneys are here to help.