Stroke Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims

Stroke is the 4th highest cause of death in the UK and people who survive a stroke are often left with life changing disabilities. Due to the seriousness of the condition, late diagnosis or misdiagnosis of a stroke can result in death or serious brain damage that could have been avoided with prompt action.

 

late diagnosis of a stroke

A stroke can impact every area of a person’s life, leaving them unable to work and with significant on-going costs, such as paying for care, specialist equipment and adaptations to their home. It can also mean that loved ones have to give up work to care for the stroke victim full time. This is why it can be so beneficial to claim stroke misdiagnosis compensation wherever possible.

A successful compensation claim can fund the cost of the extra care, support and resources a person dealing with the effects of a stroke needs. It can also replace lost income and provide some recompense for the emotional pain and suffering caused by a stroke where the outcome has been worsened due to medical negligence.

Where a loved one has died as a result of substandard medical treatment for a stroke, it can be possible to make a stroke negligence claim. While nothing can replace your loved one, a successful claim can help lessen the financial hardship the loss of a loved one often brings, as well as compensating you for the emotional impact.

Our expert team of stroke misdiagnosis claims solicitors understand both the emotional and practical impact a stroke can have on an individual and their loved ones. We take a sensitive but pragmatic approach to getting you the compensation you deserve, making the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible.

We offer a free initial consultation and no win, no fee agreements, because we believe everyone should have the option to make a clinical negligence claim when their life and the lives on their loves one have been affected by medical malpractice. 

Start a stroke misdiagnosis compensation claim today by calling 0333 323 1633, emailing enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk or use the contact form on the right to request a call back.

How we can help you claim stroke misdiagnosis compensation

If you believe a stroke experienced by you or a loved one was the result of medical negligence, we recommend taking legal action as soon as possible to have the best chance of a positive outcome.

In our initial meeting, we will go through the details of your case and make an assessment of the strength of your claim, as well as discussing how the case is likely to proceed. Our expert stroke misdiagnosis claims solicitors will then investigate the circumstances around the stroke and the care given and begin to establish the facts on which we will build your case.

This will likely include looking at medical records, consulting independent medical experts, investigating the standards of the hospital in question and speaking to key witnesses.

The majority of medical negligence cases are settled out of court via negotiation and/or mediation. This can often allow for a faster resolution and lower costs for you while being less stressful overall. However, where court action is required, we can represent you or engage a specialist barrister to ensure you receive the best possible support and representation.

Our medical negligence solicitors will be there with you every step of the way to ensure you always have the information and support you need. We will always keep our advice focused on what is best for you and your loved ones to help you achieve a positive outcome.

Why IBB Claims stroke misdiagnosis solicitors are the right choice for you and your family

Our experienced medical negligence solicitors have been helping individuals and their families get the compensation they deserve for stroke misdiagnosis and late diagnosis for many years.

We take the time to understand your situation so that we can prepare a comprehensive stroke negligence claim and secure adequate compensation. This may involve assessing your future treatment and care needs as well as the costs associated with adapting your home, purchasing mobility aids and other supportive equipment.

We understand exactly how to handle your case to give you the strongest chance of a fair settlement, as well as having the sensitive but practical approach required to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible.

Our team holds memberships and a Fellowship of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), as well as a number of other professional organisations. This recognises the strength of our expertise as well as giving us access to key resources and connections that allow us to offer the very best representation and support for your case.

Stroke misdiagnosis and late diagnosis FAQs

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a life threatening medical condition where blood supply to part of the brain is cut off thereby preventing oxygen and nutrients being delivered to the cells. It is a life threatening medical emergency and requires urgent treatment.

There are two types of stroke: ischaemic and heamorrhagic. 

Ischaemic stroke – In an ischaemic stroke the obstruction in the blood vessel is caused by a clot.

If the blockage is temporary or transient the condition is known as a ‘transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or a ‘mini-stroke’. The symptoms of a TIA may appear for a few minutes to some hours afterwards. A TIA is also considered a medical emergency as it may be early warning sign of a potential stroke.

Hemorrhagic stroke – In a haemorrhagic  stroke the loss of blood from a blood vessel(s) in the brain is caused by a weakness in the walls of the blood vessel(s)

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

The UK government has issued guidelines on the initial symptoms of stroke. This framework is commonly known as FAST and gives key warning signs to look out for.

FAST stands for:

Face:  The face may have dropped to one side, there are eye(s) or mouth may have dropped

Arms:  The person may not be able to move or raise one or both arms due to weakness or numbness

Speech:  The speech may be slurred or garbled or they may not be able to speak at all

Time: Time to dial 999 to request urgent medical attention

If the symptoms of the patient suggest a stroke or TIA then the following steps are commonly taken:

  • The patient will be taken to a hospital with a dedicated stroke unit, for further investigation and specialist treatment.
  • Once a stroke is confirmed, brain imaging will be considered – usually within 1 hour of diagnosis or within 24hours depending on the nature of the presenting symptoms and the time that has elapsed since the onset of the symptoms.
  • If the patient was determined to have experienced a TIA, they will be assessed for their risk of suffering a stroke. If they are deemed high risk then they will be given preventative treatment.

Why does early stroke diagnosis matter?

A brain scan will reveal whether the stroke is ischaemic or haemorrhagic in nature.

The treatment of a stroke will be affected by the cause of the stroke, though both ischaemic and haemorrhagic strokes will require medication, which may prevent the situation from reoccurring. They will also need general medical care such as good hydration, blood pressure and blood sugar management.

How are strokes treated?

Various methods can be used to treat a stroke depending on the type and severity of the stroke and how quickly it is identified. Applying the right treatment in time can be critical to the outcome for someone experiencing a stroke.

Thrombolysis:

Ischaemic strokes are often treated by thrombolysis, which involves administration of aleplase, a medication that dissolves blood clots and restores blood supply to the brain. It is recommended that the treatment be administered as soon as possible after the onset of the symptoms and confirmed diagnosis.

Acccording to NICE guidelines, thrombolysis is appropriate within the first 4-5 hours of the onset of symptoms. However, not all patients will be deemed suitable for this treatment or the treatment could be more complicated if:

  • It is not clear when the symptoms first manifested e.g. If the patient was asleep
  • It is more than 4-5 hours of the onset of the symptoms
  • The patient may have very high blood pressure
  • The patient may have a bleeding disorder or recent surgery
  • The patient may have suffered from a  stroke or head injury within the last 3 months
  • The patient may be taking medication which is not compatible with thrombolysis

Antiplatelets, Anticoagulents and Antihypertensives:

Antiplatelets, such as asprin, are often prescribed in order to make the blood less viscous or ‘sticky’. They are often used in conjunction with other treatments to prevent the risk of developing a stroke.

Anticoagulants are often prescribed as they have the effect of making the blood thinner in composition. Commonly prescribed drugs such as warfarin and heparin reduce the likelihood of a blood clot forming.

Surgery:

Surgery may be the required where ischemic strokes and TIAs have developed as a result of a narrowing of the carotid artery in the neck. The aim of the surgery would be to clear the build-up of fatty deposits and improve blood flow to the brain.

The consequences of a stroke and the potential long-term care and rehabilitation required

Half of all stoke survivors are left with a lasting disability. Long-term care and rehabilitation may be required for the patient in order to improve and reduce the loss of function (physical and cognitive) resulting from the stroke.  

A typical rehabilitation program will focus on:

  • Cognitive and emotional functioning
  • Vision
  • Mobility
  • Ability to commutate
  • Ability to breath, swallow
  • Ability to self-care

The severity of the brain damage will determine the complexity of the treatment and the rehabilitation plan. NICE guidelines recommend a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals and social care specialists to be involved in the rehabilitation plan of stroke victims. These include:

  • Consultant physicians
  • Nurses
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupation therapists
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Rehabilitation assistants
  • Social workers

Why are the symptoms of a stroke often overlooked by doctors?

Because the symptoms of a stroke often appear vague or mild, GPs or specialists may initially determine that the patient simply has a headache or migraine.

However failure to diagnose and treat a potential stroke could have devastating consequences on the victim.  The delay in treatment could result in brain damage, loss of mobility and loss of cognitive functions. These serious consequences could potentially leave the stroke victim requiring long-term care and rehabilitation.

Why are stroke commonly misdiagnosed in children?

Although the majority of stoke victims are aged 65 and above, 1 in 150 stokes occurs in young people under 20. Although strokes are much less prevalent in children, the statistics are not insignificant.  

However, research by conducted by the Stroke Association made two important findings with regard to awareness of stokes in younger patients:

  • “Diagnosis of arterial ischaemic stroke (AIS) in children is delayed at every stage of healthcare assessment”.
  • The routine early use of MRI scans in children with suspected ischaemic stroke (around half of childhood strokes are caused by a blood clot, as opposed to a bleed)  “could significantly accelerate the process and improve outcomes”.

Based on the research, the lack of awareness in the medical profession and the subsequent delay in treatment in younger victims could result in significantly worse outcomes.

Get in touch to start a stroke misdiagnosis compensation claim today

To start a stroke misdiagnosis compensation claim, get in touch now by calling 0333 323 1633, email us on enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk or use the contact form on the right to request a call back.