Articles Posted in Misdiagnosing Stroke

Ms. Doe underwent successful breast reconstruction surgery. She was recovering in the hospital when she began to experience weakness on one side of her body, which progressed to full-side weakness, facial drooping and loss of speech. Ms. Doe’s family members and pastor reported her symptoms to hospital nurses who allegedly documented the symptoms, but chose not to report them to Ms. Doe’s attending physician for 24 hours.

Ms. Doe was subsequently diagnosed as having suffered a stroke. She has lost complete use of one arm, has limited use of one of her legs, and has permanent loss of speech.

Ms. Doe sued the hospital, alleging liability for the nurses’ choosing not to properly respond to obvious stroke symptoms. Ms. Doe asserted that her stroke resulted from a clot that developed into a brain bleed and that doctors could have treated the clot before it caused the sustained bleeding.
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Eric Smith, 47, had been diagnosed with hypertension and suffered an intracranial hemorrhage at home.
He was assessed at a hospital and then transferred to another hospital for neurosurgical intervention in the event his hemorrhage worsened.

Smith remained stable at the second hospital and, several days later, was moved yet again into a third hospital where he was administered high doses of antihypertensive drugs and diuretics.
Smith’s condition initially improved at the third hospital but then began to deteriorate. This included the development of a dangerously low blood pressure.

Smith then suffered a series of ischemic strokes, which led to quadriparesis and dysphagia. He is now dependent on others for 24-hour-a-day care. Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulties. Some people with dysphagia have problems swallowing certain foods or liquids, while others cannot swallow at all. Other signs of dysphagia include coughing or choking when eating or drinking.
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Dennis Davis, an Illinois prisoner suffering from kidney disease, received dialysis on a Saturday. He later told the prison nurse that his mind was fuzzy and his body was weak. Both of these complaints were similar to other side effects he had experienced in the past after dialysis treatment. The nurse called Dr. Francis Kayira, the prison’s medical director, who asked her whether Davis had asymmetrical grip strength, facial droop, or drooling. These are classic signs of a stroke.

When the nurse said “no,” Dr. Kayira determined that Davis was experiencing the same dialysis-related side effects as before rather than something more serious.

Dr. Kayira told the nurse to monitor Davis and call him if the symptoms worsened. Dr. Kayira did not hear anything for the rest of the weekend. On the following Monday morning, Dr. Kayira examined Davis and discovered that Davis in fact had suffered a stroke.
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Paul Chicoine was 47 years old when he experienced nausea, vomiting and extreme dizziness as he was painting a ceiling. He then developed left-sided numbness, weakness, and slurred speech.

He was taken by ambulance to a hospital where he was given medication. An emergency physician, Dr. Michael Mendola, ordered blood tests and a CT scan of the head. The finding from the CT scan was negative except for a note about a sinus inflammation. Chicoine was then discharged with the diagnosis of vertigo and sinusitis.

Eight days after discharge, he suffered a stroke. After extensive rehabilitation over eight months, he returned to his job as a court officer. He has been unable to continue working due to his deficits, which included vision impairment and limited use of his left hand, which were the result of the stroke.
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Latosha Evans, 17, a heart transplant recipient, went to Children’s Hospital to undergo a cardiac catheterization to correct a fractured stent in her ascending aorta.

After this procedure, which lasted approximately three hours, Latosha was transferred to the facility’s post-anesthesia care unit. A report from a neurology consultation allegedly wrote in the chart that Latosha had possible right hemiparesis; however, neither the attending nursing nor medical staff initiated a stroke protocol or requested a complete neurological assessment.

Hemiparesis is a partial weakness on one side of the body. It can affect either the left or right side of the body. The weakness can involve the arms, hands, legs, face or a combination of all. Almost 80% of stroke survivors experience hemiparesis, making it one of the most common effects of a stroke.
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Melanie Smith, 40, was taken to a hospital suffering from a severe headache, slurred speech, dizziness, right-sided weakness, and vomiting. These were all apparent signs of a stroke.

Two hours after she arrived at the hospital, an emergency physician, Dr. Antonio Baca, examined her, prescribed migraine medication and ordered a CT scan. The scan was negative for hemorrhagic stroke.

However, Smith’s symptoms continued over the next few hours. Dr. Baca ordered an MRI and consulted with a neurologist. The MRI showed that Smith had suffered an ischemic stroke. She was then transferred to another hospital where she underwent a craniotomy. A craniotomy is the serious surgical procedure in which the skull is perforated. A bone flap is temporarily removed from the skull to allow access to the brain by the neurosurgeons. A craniotomy is usually completed so that neurosurgeons can remove a brain tumor or an abnormal brain tissue.
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Jerri Woodring-Thueson suffered a stroke. Several days later, tests showed a suspected vertebrobasilar arterial dissection. She was transferred to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, the nearest comprehensive stroke center.

A vertebral artery dissection is a flap-like tear of the inner linings of the vertebral artery, which is located in the neck and supplies blood to the brain. After such a tear, blood enters the arterial wall and forms a blood clot to thicken the artery wall; often it blocks blood flow.

Shortly after her admission to the Seattle facility, she experienced nausea, vertigo, decreased hearing, blurred vision and uncontrolled eye movements. A repeat MRI was negative for new strokes. Woodring-Thueson’s treating physicians continued her on dual antiplatelet therapy, which included aspirin.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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