Articles Posted in Misdiagnosing Stroke

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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Kody Myrick, 17, suddenly slumped over at his job and had difficulty speaking. He was brought to Bakersfield Memorial Hospital’s emergency department. A nurse there made note of a possible stroke. Then an emergency room physician diagnosed profound neurological deficits and ordered a brain CT scan. The scan results showed an abnormality.

Four hours after the onset of symptoms, Kody was seen by a hospitalist to arrange admission to the hospital. The doctor called in admission orders and included a diagnosis of possible stroke. However, Kody was not seen by a doctor for the remainder of that night.

Kody’s neurological condition worsened suddenly the next morning. He was later diagnosed as having an ischemic stroke, which resulted in significant damage to his brain stem. Kody now suffers incomplete tetraplegia and requires 24-hour care.

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