In 2007, a three-day old infant suffered sudden seizures during her routine check-up with her pediatrician. The seizure caused her knees to jerk up towards her chest, her small eyes to roll back, her head to turn sharply to her right, and her skin to turn to blue. After a CPR was performed on her and as soon as she began to breathe again, she was treated with an IV (Intravenous) line. That same day, however, she suffered two more seizures, and though she survived the ordeal, parts of her brain were damaged, causing her holistic development to be affected.
The seizures, which were later determined to be due to a clot in the blood vessel, were identified as ischemic stroke, a stroke caused by an obstruction in the blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain.
A stroke, also called a brain attack, is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. (the first is heart attack, followed by cancer). It is a serious medical condition, which deprives the brain of the oxygen it needs, causing the brain cells to die. If not given proper and timely treatment, a stroke can result to disability, permanent brain damage or death.
According to stroke lawyers from the firm of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, stroke is a common and potentially life-threatening occurrence for patients of all ages. Sometimes it occurs without warning; often, however, there are warning signs or symptoms, such as unexplained severe headache, neck pain, weakness, vision changes, numbness in the face, arm or leg, speech trouble, loss of balance and dizziness. In certain instances, some patients experience transient ischemic attacks (TIAs or mini-strokes), which, if recognized in time, can prevent permanent injury or death.
If the signs of stroke are correctly diagnosed and the patient given proper, timely treatment, then he or she can be saved from life-long disabilities. Many doctors and emergency room staff, however, often fail to diagnose its symptoms, as these are often interpreted as signs of another illness.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association, stoke can be avoided by giving the patient the tissue plasminogen activator or tPA, which is a clot busting drug, within three hours of the start of stroke symptoms.
Any failure by any emergency room staff or doctor to recognize the symptoms of stroke and give appropriate treatment can be considered as medical malpractice. It is important for families of medical malpractice victims to contact a medical malpractice or stroke lawyer immediately to know what the victim’s rights are and to obtain for him/her whatever compensation he or she may be legally entitled to claim.