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Stroke misdiagnosis at the ER

Florida residents may benefit from learning more about the risks associated with being misdiagnosed in the emergency room. A report published by the American Heart Association during 2009 cited several accounts in which adult stroke patients were misdiagnosed at the ER. The researchers ultimately concluded that seemingly superficial conditions like nausea and vertigo in patients younger than 50 may need to be assessed and treated with great caution as they could be symptoms of stroke.

Researchers claims that misdiagnosis could be critical when dealing with this type of time sensitive information. A significant number of the patents are misdiagnosed with migraines, intoxication or vertigo. The lead author of the study claims that early intervention is the most effective approach towards stoke care. In addition, early intervention may be critical in helping young patients reduce the risk of suffering the disabilities and high costs caused by strokes. Researchers contend that one of the primary problems is that emergency staff members rarely suspect someone younger than 45 to be admitted with a stroke.

There is only one federally approved treatment for stroke, and it must be administered within three hours of an onset of symptoms in order to avoid permanent disability. An accurate diagnosis from physicians' first review may help these patients avoid an ongoing speech impairment and continual paralysis. Many young patients admitted within the first three to six hours of symptoms onset have been unable to receive the appropriate treatment because they were misdiagnosed.

Patients who have been injured from an incorrect diagnosis or medical error may benefit from consulting with legal counsel. Lawyers may be able to assist these victims with identifying all of the parties who could be found culpable for the resulting damages. Plaintiffs who can prove negligence against defendant are often awarded with restitution to compensate for the hardships caused by the incident.

Source: Science Daily, "Young Adult Stroke Patients May Be Misdiagnosed In ER", November 21, 2014

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