Posted by on Feb 19, 2015 in Medical Issues | 0 comments

During consultation visits with a doctor, the questions of a walk-in patient usually center only on what their illness is and how frequently they should take the prescribed medicine; others go further and ask for an alternative diet, one that would keep them healthy and in good shape.

It is natural for patients to fully trust doctors; they are the experts, anyway, when it comes to health. Sadly, one reality is that even the best doctors can commit mistakes. In fact, more than a quarter of a million people die every year due to medical mistakes, making this the third most common cause of death in the US.

Wrong diagnosis is among the many different results of medical mistake or medical malpractice. Error in diagnosing a patient’s real condition is due to failure in detecting the warning signs of a real and more severe health condition, like one that can lead to a stroke.

Stroke, which is also known as Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA), is due to a pause in the flow of blood to any area of the brain. This could be because of a blood clot in the blood vessels or a clot in the Cholesterol plaque. Before a major or large stroke, a patient usually suffers a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) first. TIA is what medical professionals identify as a warning or mini stroke; it usually last for only about 20 minutes, as the flow of blood usually resumes afterwards.

A stroke is definitely preventable, but only if its symptoms are detected early and correctly so that the patient can be given proper medication and advise on how to avoid it. Failure to diagnose it and render proper treatment, however, can easily result to paralysis or patient’s death. In fact, according to the American Stroke Association, more than 500,000 individuals suffer a stroke every year. From the total, about 200,000 end up disabled, while the many more others end up dead.

Determining the symptoms of stroke, though, can be difficult due to the symptoms’ resemblance with other serious health conditions, like severe migraine attack or diabetic hypoglycemia. The presence of other warning signs, though, like unexplained severe headaches, dizziness, loss of coordination or balance, difficulty in understanding or speaking, difficulty in walking and in seeing either from one or both eyes, and weakness or numbness on only one side of the body, may be interpreted as signs of stroke; but to be more certain, requiring the patient to undergo more tests may be called for. These symptoms, especially TIA, should never be taken lightly. On the contrary, patients displaying these symptoms should be given emergency care.

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