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ER doctors sometimes misdiagnose strokes

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

Thousands of New Yorkers go to emergency rooms yearly complaining of dizziness and severe headaches. However, if you are a woman, a member of a minority group or under the age of 45, you have a greater chance of receiving an incorrect diagnosis, with many ER doctors missing these signs leading to a stroke.

Misdiagnoses can lead to devastating consequences

ER doctors sometimes perceive headaches and dizziness as minor symptoms of other conditions and send patients home with a prescription telling them to rest. Nevertheless, missing these stroke signs can lead to a disastrous incident within 30 days, resulting in medical malpractice claims.

A study conducted in 2008 and 2009 indicated that up to 12.7% of patients at the time received incorrect diagnoses, including ear infections or migraines, or sometimes no diagnosis at all. More than half returned within seven days with more severe stroke symptoms, the vast majority of these returning within 48 hours. Women were 33% more likely to receive a misdiagnosis while minorities suffered a 20% to 30% rate of misdiagnosis. These statistics indicate possible racial and gender disparities.

Early diagnosis of strokes is critical to health. Doctors often miss transient ischemic attacks (TIA), often called pre-strokes, that are harbingers of more serious vascular events.

How misdiagnosis can affect your life

Emergency room misdiagnoses can have catastrophic effects on people’s lives leading to life-changing personal injuries or even death. State law has strict rules on time filing limits for these cases, however.

If you or a loved one have suffered a misdiagnosis, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. You could use proceeds from a successful claim for medical and living expenses and much more.


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