A stroke can cause full or partial paralysis, loss of mobility, loss of cognition, and speech and language impairments. It can take away your ability to work and earn a living. It can also cause significant physical and emotional pain for both you and your loved ones. In a worst-case scenario, it can result in locked-in syndrome, the most extreme type of paralysis, which causes the loss of movement in every voluntary muscle except the ones controlling the eyes.
If you or someone you loved suffered a stroke because of medical malpractice, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit and recover compensation. A lawyer from Newsome | Melton can help you build a case and seek damages. Our team fights for the rights of injured victims, and we never collect a fee until you get paid. To receive a free consultation with a member of our staff, call us at 888-526-8947.
Stroke and Medical Malpractice
While medical malpractice does not typically cause a stroke, it can prevent a person from getting timely treatment when exhibiting early symptoms. A doctor has a duty of care to recognize when a patient shows signs that a stroke is imminent or that they are in the early stages one. If the doctor misses the signs or makes an improper diagnosis, the patient may suffer a major stroke that could have been preventable with correct care. In some cases, strokes can cause locked-in syndrome.
It is essential for a doctor to recognize the early warning signs of a stroke, particularly when treating a patient who has one or more risk factors. These signs include:
- Difficulty speaking and understanding
- Paralysis of the face, arms, or legs
- Trouble seeing out of one or both eyes
- Difficulty walking
The most common risk factors for stroke include the following lifestyle factors:
- Alcohol abuse
- Smoking (or exposure to secondhand smoke)
- Drug use, particularly “uppers” such as cocaine and methamphetamine
Medical risk factors include:
- High blood pressure (above 120/80)
- High cholesterol
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Cardiovascular disease
- Family history
If you or your loved one exhibited warning signs of a stroke, signs your doctor did not catch promptly, a lawyer from Newsome | Melton can help you pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. For a free consultation, call our office today at 888-526-8947.
Treatment for Stroke
Once the symptoms of a stroke begin, the most critical window to administer treatment is the first 4.5 hours. If your doctor can restore blood flow to the brain during that period, you have a strong chance of avoiding the worst long-term outcome from your stroke. And the sooner you receive treatment during this window, the better the prognosis. Fifteen minutes is better than an hour, and an hour is better than three hours. Every minute counts.
If you or your loved one presented early stroke signs to your doctor, he or she should have administered one of the following:
IV Injection of Tissue Plasminogen Activator
Tissue plasminogen activator is a clot-busting drug. Administered intravenously, it can break up the clot in your blood vessel that is blocking the flow of blood to your brain. If you receive this treatment before your brain goes too long without oxygen, you have a good chance of recovering from a minor stroke.
Emergency Endovascular Procedures
In some instances, it is necessary for your doctor to treat a stroke by operating directly on the blood vessel housing the clot. He or she can do this by inserting either a catheter or a stint to open the vessel and dissolve the clot. But again, he or she must act quickly, as the longer the blood flow to your brain is blocked, the less of a chance you have of making a full or substantial recovery.
The Newsome | Melton Team Can Help You Win a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for Stroke
The Newsome | Melton legal team has worked with many clients whose loved ones have been victims of malpractice. We have helped these clients and their families hold the responsible party or parties accountable and win substantial compensation.
Our team can build a thorough, compelling malpractice case on your behalf. To have the best outcome, our case needs to prove four things:
Duty of Care
We first must show that the doctor or health care provider we are alleging is responsible had a duty of care to you or your loved one. All doctors have this duty to their patients, and it extends to anyone in the doctor’s employ, including nurses, physicians’ assistants, and lab technicians.
Breach of Duty
We then must demonstrate that the responsible party breached his or her duty of care to you. A breach of duty occurs when a doctor or health care provider fails to act with a level of care expected of a reasonable person in his or her position.
Since this standard can be nebulous, we can bolster our case by bringing in a medical expert to testify. This person can play the role of the reasonable person and can explain how he or she would have acted differently if faced with the same situation.
Next, we must show that you or your loved one suffered injuries as a direct result of the responsible party’s failure. In a stroke lawsuit, this usually means that the doctor failed to make a timely and accurate diagnosis, preventing you or your loved one from receiving treatment that would have lessened the effects of the stroke.
Finally, we must list the specific damages you or your loved one suffered because of the stroke. We can then pursue the responsible party or parties for compensation to pay for those damages, which may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost earnings
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Emotional anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement