Delayed diagnosis or treatment of stroke

  • The consequences of delayed diagnosis or treatment for a stroke can be serious with potential life-long implications and care needs.

Every year 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke. That is one person every five minutes. Strokes are the most common cause of death in the UK.

Strokes can be caused by poor blood flow to the brain or bleeding. The diagnosis of a stroke may be delayed or overlooked because symptoms of stroke may be mild or attributed to other conditions such as a migraine or headache. The delay in diagnosis and treatment could potentially result in serious and irreversible brain damage, requiring long-term care and rehabilitation.

The main risk factors for a stroke are:

  • high blood pressure or cholesterol
  • smoking
  • diabetes
  • increasing age

Symptoms

The key symptoms of a stroke include the following:

  • Sudden weakness and numbness on one side
  • Drooping face on one side
  • Slurred speech and muddled words
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sudden blurred vision or loss of vision
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Incontinence
  • Sudden dizziness, confusion, and issues with balance
  • Impaired memory
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Difficulty controlling emotions.

Heart conditions can also be the potential causes of a stroke. The more time the blood supply to the brain is interrupted by a stroke, the more serious the chance of disability, brain injury or death. It is imperative that medical staff identify a stroke, or it’s potential onset, at the earliest opportunity.

If you are suffering from a stroke it is vital to seek immediate medical attention. The sooner you get treatment the better. Immediate treatment may help minimise the long-term effects of stroke and improve recovery outcomes.

Strokes generally fall into two categories:

  • Ischaemic stroke – this involves the blood supply to a section of the brain being cut off due to a blood clot
  • Hemorrhagic stroke – this involves bleeding into the brain from a burst blood vessel

Treatment

There are several appropriate treatments for stroke, depending on its cause. These can vary from drug treatment, intravenous therapy, mechanical devices, surgical clips or coils. Your clinician will decide which treatment is most suitable for you.

Recovery

Due to medical advances, the survival rate and recovery outcomes of stroke has increased hugely over the past decade, especially if it is identified and treated immediately.

Each individual is affected in different ways by a stroke and can have varying symptoms depending on the part of the brain that has been affected and the function of that particular part. The severity of these symptoms usually depends on the amount of damage to the brain.

Clinical negligence

Unfortunately, a stroke can sometimes be the result of clinical negligence. The damage to the individual in these cases of clinical negligence can often be severe due to the destructive nature of some strokes. Although any amount of compensation you receive will not make up for the injury you have suffered, it can help to make your life a little easier.

A stroke can cause a long-term disability and the long-term support required will vary from case to case. We have a wide range of contacts with organisations who can help you and can work closely with you. These include:

  • Case managers who will assess and organise any support and care you may need;
  • Support workers who will visit you on a regular basis to provide you support and help;
  • Community rehabilitation such as occupational therapy.

If you think you have suffered due to clinical negligence, you or your family should contact a solicitor as soon as possible. The sooner we can begin work on your claim the sooner we can begin to help you.

Whilst we deal with your claim, our specialist community care team can also provide advice on your entitlement to health and social care support at home during the continuance of your claim.

If you believe that you or someone you know has suffered as a result of clinical negligence please contact Anne Cassidy.

We have offices in Southampton, London, Guildford, Richmond, Lymington and Woking. We deal with clients throughout the country and we will visit you at your home, hospital or rehabilitation unit.

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