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Strokes have an unfortunate history of misdiagnosis

A hospital is a place where problems are discovered, diagnosed, and treated. With a bevy of medical professionals staffing its halls, most patients believe that a doctor’s orders are sacrosanct and whatever they say goes. But the fact of the matter is that doctors can make errors. And sometimes those errors yield deadly results.

Errors don’t even come exclusively with obscure conditions. For instance, strokes can happen to people from all walks and stages of life. It’s the primary cause of serious disability and death in the United States, and it has an unfortunate history of misdiagnosis. Which is unfortunate, not only because it can be debilitating, but also because surviving a stroke means there’s still a greater chance of a second stroke coming later. So why does it end up getting misdiagnosed?

Why strokes get misdiagnosed

  • Doctors are without the proper training: You’d think that if you show up to a hospital with a bodily issue, they’d be able to diagnose you. But that’s not always the case. There are actually stroke centers for patients to go to. So, if you’re not there, the trained medical professionals might not know how to diagnose you.
  • The initial symptoms: Strokes often present themselves initially as dizziness or numbness. These are fairly tepid symptoms that as a result might not get such a focused look from a doctor.
  • The patient is female, young, a minority, or all of the above: While the exact reasons for an unfortunate history are still developing, studies show that patients from these demographics are more likely to get misdiagnosed. Doctors may dismiss symptoms as intoxication or even vertigo.

None of these are fun to learn about, as the difference between a treated and untreated stroke makes for a lifetime of a difference. It might feel intimidating asking a doctor follow up questions after they give you the “OK” but on the off chance it is a stroke, it could make all the difference.

Hospitals should be a place of safety. Where a visit begins with an investigation and ends with an answer or at least the steps to said answer. Unfortunately, medical errors occur, even with something as severe as a stroke. Whether a doctor literally does not have the training to spot a stroke or initial symptoms were diagnosed as something else, there are many reasons that misdiagnosis occurs. If you suspect that you suffered a stroke that did not receive proper treatment, reaching out to a legal professional could be a good step toward recovery. Addressing the issue sooner rather than later is pertinent. Or else this error won’t just be a small blip on the radar.

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Law Offices of Raymond J. Slomski, P.C.

2929 North Central Avenue Suite 700 Phoenix, AZ 85012 Phone: 602-635-7603 Fax: 602-230-8707 Phoenix Law Office Map