Articles Posted in Misdiagnosing Stroke

Graciela Gomez McCallum was diagnosed as having cardiomyopathy and atrial fibrillation for which she was prescribed Coumadin therapy and placed with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). She was in her mid-70s when she consulted with a cardiac electrophysiologist, Dr. Peter Garcia, and cardiologist Dr. Jose Marquez, who managed her cardiac care.

Approximately five years after Gomez McCallum began the Coumadin treatment, Dr. Marquez discontinued it. Several months later Gomez McCallum suffered a stroke that left her with left-sided paralysis and cognitive difficulties. She now requires care 24 hours a day.

She sued Dr. Marquez and his employer as well as Dr. Garcia alleging negligent discontinuation of Coumadin. The lawsuit alleged that Dr. Marquez had discontinued the blood thinner despite the patient’s history of chronic atrial fibrillation, chose not to confirm that she was no longer experiencing atrial fibrillation by evaluating her ICD downloads, and failed to consult with Dr. Garcia concerning his findings and recommendations.
Continue reading

Dr. Terry Polt was 61 years old when she underwent an embolization procedure to treat her chronic nosebleeds.

An embolization procedure involves the selected occlusion of blood vessels by purposely introducing clots to a blood vessel. Embolization is generally used to treat a wide variety of conditions affecting different organs of the human body. In this case, the attempt was to cure chronic nosebleeds.

After the embolization procedure, Dr. Polt, a family practice physician, suffered an embolic stroke resulting in difficulties with executive function and attention. Dr. Polt was earning $150,000 annually and is now unable to work.
Continue reading

Mark Brown was a 39-year-old high school wrestling coach who began experiencing dizziness, neck pain, blurred vision and nausea while at a wrestling practice. He went to a local hospital, and paramedics transferred him to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center where he was given a CT scan without contrast as part of a stroke workup.

The next day, Brown was discharged with a diagnosis of benign positional vertigo.

On the way home from the hospital, he suffered a massive stroke that caused severe brain damage. As a result, he lost vision and experienced difficulties with walking and speaking, among other problems. Brown now requires 24-hour-a-day care.
Continue reading

Kristine Haveman, 38, collapsed at home and was brought to a nearby hospital in an unresponsive condition. The emergency room personnel examined her and ordered a CT scan. Doctors interpreted the scans as normal. That evening a neurologist diagnosed a thrombus in the left cerebral artery, which necessitated thrombolytic therapy.

Because of the delay in diagnosis and treatment, she suffered cognitive deficits resulting in problems with speech and word retrieval. She also has experienced fatigue and right-sided weakness. She had been a teacher who planned to return to work but is now unable to do so.

Haven filed a lawsuit against Dr. Kenneth Dirk, an emergency room physician and his employer, Oregon Emergency Physicians, claiming that these defendants’ negligence was the cause of an eight-hour delay in administering thrombolytic medication.The lawsuit claimed that the CT scan had been misinterpreted and that Haveman was wrongfully treated with Ativan for anxiety and emotional problems before the neurologist’s stroke diagnosis.
Continue reading

A Will County jury has found that a stroke suffered by the son of Kathy Nakamura was not preventable by anticoagulant treatment by his physicians. In this medical-malpractice lawsuit, it was alleged that several physicians chose not to treat the medical conditions of Kathy Nakamura’s son, Joseph Welsh, which led to his suffering two strokes in five months. He was left with severe mental deficiencies after the second stroke in April 2009.

Welsh was admitted to Edward Hospital in Naperville, Ill., in November 2008. He was seen by neurologist Konstantine Dzamashvili, M.D. and Rizwan Bajwa, M.D. after he suffered a stroke caused by a blood clot in his brain. Welsh had a history of smoking and hypertension and cholesterol issues. The doctors believe that the blood clot came from somewhere in his neck or his brain stem. They tested Welsh for atherosclerotic heart disease; the test came back negative. When imaging tests were done, it showed that Welsh had a membrane open between the right and left sides of his heart.

Welsh was also tested for Factor V Leiden thrombophilia, which is a hereditary disorder that can increase the risk of blood clots in the veins.

Continue reading

Thirteen-year-old Doe became ill and developed a high fever. Doe’s mother brought him to a Kaiser Permanente Urgent Care facility where Doe underwent testing. Before all the tests were returned, Doe was discharged and told to see his primary care physician in a week or two. It was revealed that one of the tests indicated a high sedimentation rate. There was no follow-up regarding this test result.

Doe’s condition worsened over the next week. He was brought into a hospital emergency room where testing showed lesions on his brain. Doe suffered a stroke during surgery, which necessitated another surgery as well as physical therapy and other treatment.

Fortunately, Doe has made a complete recovery. Doe sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan alleging that it chose not to timely diagnose the sinus infection.

Continue reading

Business owner Kevin Orr, 42, went to a hospital emergency room complaining of dizziness, headache and inability to stand. A CT scan, interpreted by the radiologist and defendant, Dr. James Bell, showed blockage of blood vessels supplying blood to Orr’s brain. However, this was not reported by the physician’s assistant who ordered the scan.

Dr. Bell concluded that the CT scan was normal and showed only sinusitis. Orr was diagnosed as having a sinus infection and was then discharged.

Orr returned to his primary care physician’s office in the next two weeks and reported vomiting and headaches. The physician’s assistant again diagnosed sinusitis. Three weeks after Orr’s emergency room visit, he suffered a massive stroke resulting in permanent disability, including impaired gait, facial pain and tingling, and arm and leg numbness.

Continue reading

Finis Cuff, 61, had a history of smoking and other health problems, including diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. When Cuff experienced elevated blood pressure, primary care physician Dr. Douglas Keagle prescribed medicine. Cuff’s blood pressure continued to rise, and he returned to Dr. Keagle who prescribed a different blood pressure medication. He then instructed Cuff, whose blood pressure had risen to as high as 200/80, to monitor his blood pressure.

Two days later, Cuff suffered a massive ischemic stroke, resulting in brain damage and lost functioning in both of his legs and right arm.

He sued Dr. Keagle alleging that he chose not to diagnose an impending stroke and refer him to a hospital for an immediate workup. The lawsuit did not claim lost income.

Continue reading

Myrna Rawdin underwent an MRI to rule out a brain tumor. She was 63 years old at the time. The MRI results showed no tumor, but it did not rule out a transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Over one year later, when she experienced lightheadedness, garbled speech and headaches lasting three days, she consulted her internist, Dr. Mark Real. Dr. Real diagnosed impacted earwax and irrigated Rawdin’s ears.

At the end of the same month, she suffered a massive stroke that left her with left-sided weakness, including foot drop and almost no use of her left arm. She continues to require weekly physical therapy and is confined to a wheelchair.

Continue reading

A confidential settlement was reached with a physician for the injuries suffered by a patient after the physician neglected to rush the patient to a hospital. The 44-year-old woman patient suffered from mild hypertension and took birth control pills. After developing a migraine, she vomited violently.

The next day the patient experienced heaviness and limpness in her upper left arm and tingling and numbness in her entire left hand. That evening she called her doctor who was her primary care physician. The patient alleged that the doctor told her to take two Advil. The next morning the patient was unable to move. She was transported to a hospital where studies showed that she had suffered a mild cerebral artery infarct, a stroke.

The patient now suffers from aphasia and partial paralysis on her left side. She had been an accounting supervisor, but is now unable to work.

Continue reading