As a medical malpractice lawyer, I am frequently asked to review medical records for patients who have suffered a stroke under circumstances where this devastating injury may have been unnecessary. These cases generally follow certain patterns. For example, when an individual suffers a hemorrhagic stroke, or brain bleed, we are often looking to see if the stroke resulted from a failure to properly monitor and adjust their anticoagulation medication. Alternately, we often investigate whether a patient who was complaining of the “worst headache of their life” or chronic neurogenic migraine headaches did not receive a proper workup to determine whether they had an aneurysm.
Likewise, when a patient suffers a thromboembolic stroke, caused by a blood clot that travels to the brain, familiar fact patterns frequently emerge. For example, the most common source of a thromboembolic stroke is when a patient has a clogged carotid artery. These patients often have underlying risk factors like coronary artery disease, type II diabetes or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). When a patient with risk factors experiences a TIA, they should be evaluated via ultrasound to determine whether their carotid arteries are clogged.
A recent study published by the American Heart Association shows that when appropriate interventions are taken following a transient ischemic attack, the risk of the patient sustaining a stroke has been cut in half over the years. The reason for this is that appropriate protocols have been adopted by emergency departments and stroke teams at hospitals to recognize the risk for stroke after a transient ischemic attack and to create a consensus for the type of treatment needed to avoid such a stroke.
Another type of thromboembolic stroke occurs when a patient with atrial fibrillation, and associated risk factors for stroke, is not put on anticoagulation medication to mitigate the risk of stroke. The risk for stroke is evaluated using the CHADS2 score.
Finally, medical malpractice lawsuits may arise when a patient suffers a stroke and there is a delayed diagnosis which prevents use of clot busting medicine or surgical removal of the clot. You have probably heard the slogan that “time is brain.” This means that if intervention occurs promptly, the symptoms of stroke can be reversed in part or in whole. Clot busting drugs are time sensitive meaning that they must be used within hours of the onset of stroke symptoms or they tend to do more harm than good.
When a patient suffers a stroke under circumstances that suggest that the stroke could have been prevented with proper intervention, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Cleveland, OH, such as from Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co, LPA. Time limits apply, so contacting the attorney promptly may be important. Most medical malpractice lawyers perform an initial consultation for no fee.