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When a stroke is missed, a patient can suffer serious injuries

Having a stroke is something that many Houston residents are familiar with. Many have had a friend or family member who has undergone a stroke and know how serious the consequences can be. But when a stroke victim suffers a misdiagnosis, it can be devastating.

A stroke often causes serious health complications. These can include memory problems, problems with movement, and other issues. A stroke is caused by a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain becomes blocked. Often people believe that older people are the only ones that can have a stroke, but it can happen to younger people as well. But for people under the age of 45, a stroke can often be misdiagnosed. Between 15,000 and 165,000 stroke cases are misdiagnosed each year in the United States. A Johns Hopkins University Study shows that doctors in the emergency room are up to 30% more likely to miss signs of stroke in women and minorities. What's more, those under the age of 45 also have far greater odds of a failure to recognize the stroke than older people.

Symptoms of a stroke, especially in younger people, may include a sudden onset of dizziness, headache or vision loss. More commonly known stroke symptoms are a droopiness in the face, numbness in an arm or difficulty with speech. When a stroke is diagnosed correctly and quickly a person has a good chance of recovery. If a patient believes their stroke was missed by a medical doctor, they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney can review medical records, consult with medical experts and determine what happened to cause the injury.

Patients who have suffered because of a medical mistake deserve answers as to what happened to them. Compensation may also be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.

Source: npr.org, "Emergency docs more likely to miss signs of stroke in the young", Linda Poon, April 5, 2014

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