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How could a doctor in the emergency room miss a stroke?

On Behalf of | May 26, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

A stroke is one of the most extreme medical emergencies that you could experience. It involves the disruption of blood flow to your brain. Medical experts agree that the timely diagnosis and treatment of a stroke is crucial for the recovery of the patients and their long-term prognosis.

Unfortunately, some people who experience a stroke, recognize the symptoms and go to the emergency room get turned away without treatment. Why would emergency room medical professionals not recognize the signs of a stroke in a patient?

Doctors often fail to diagnose a condition they don’t expect a patient to have

One of the groups that faces the biggest obstacles in the accurate diagnosis of a stroke includes younger adults. They can have a stroke spontaneously or due to pre-existing medical conditions. Even prescription medication could cause a stroke in an otherwise healthy individual. Since medical professionals don’t expect to see strokes in younger people, they may ignore the warning signs and send someone home.

Doctors’ biases can affect their diagnoses

The same biases that affect the treatment of individuals at a societal level also affect the medical care that people get. Unfortunately, stereotypes influence medical practitioners subconsciously. They are more likely to ignore or downplay the self-reported symptoms of both women and people of color. These biases can mean that vulnerable individuals in need of immediate medical care don’t receive crucial treatment.

Those who have been harmed because of an untreated stroke and surviving family members who lost a loved one because of an emergency room error related to a stroke may need to file a medical malpractice claim against the facility where that mistake occurred.