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Misdiagnosis in young adult stroke victims

Young adults in North Carolina who may be at risk of stroke may face medical complications if emergency room doctors fail to diagnose. Stroke is relatively rare for young adults, and doctors may diagnose symptoms as signs of vertigo, intoxication, migraine or other less serious issues. These symptoms may lead to a hospital discharge when it is not warranted and could result in worsening of symptoms, possibly resulting in permanent damage.

Permanent damage may include paralysis, speech problems or other serious issues. Doctors say that making the right decision in the first few hours of a stroke is critical for a patient's long-term health, as stroke is one of the most common causes of disability and death in the United States. If not caught within 48 to 72 hours, doctors suggest that nothing may be able to be done to prevent permanent damage.

A stroke is often the sudden onset of a series of symptoms and may occur in patients of any age. Symptoms of nausea, vertigo, headaches and other relatively mild symptoms in young people should be assessed as seriously as with any other patients. Other symptoms include numbness or weakness in the face, trouble seeing from one or both eyes, dizziness or loss of coordination, confusion or trouble speaking. Misdiagnosis may be a form of medical malpractice if it can be shown that doctors failed to take these factors into account.

Patients who suffer permanent damage as a result of a misdiagnosed stroke may be eligible for compensation from hospitals or treating doctors who failed to properly assess the symptoms and condition. A medical malpractice lawyer may be able to assist with the process of filing a lawsuit. Lawyers are generally advocates for their clients in a variety of situations, including getting a settlement from the accused parties or representing clients in court.

Source: Science Daily, "Young Adult Stroke Patients May Be Misdiagnosed In ER", December 05, 2014

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