Make a Claim for Stroke Medical Negligence
Suffering a stroke can have very serious and long-lasting consequences. It is imperative that medical professionals do all they can before and after a stroke to help minimise the effect it has. If a stroke has been misdiagnosed or has been left to progress unchecked, making a claim can help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you have suffered a stroke and believe you may have been the victim of medical negligence, contact us today to discuss whether or not you can make a stroke misdiagnosis claim. Either call us on 0800 014 7481 or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you.
What is a Stroke?
The Stroke Association refers to a stroke as 'a brain attack' - that is, the brain equivalent of a heart attack caused by a lack of blood flow.
There are two types of stroke:
- Ischemic - caused by a blood clot, often a result of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries due to high cholesterol. 85% of strokes are ischemic
- Hemorrhagic - caused by a burst blood vessel
A person can also suffer a transient ischemic attack (TIA), referred to as a ‘mini-stroke’, which is a minor stroke caused by a temporary loss of blood flow to the brain. Between 10% and 15% of people who suffer a mini-stroke will suffer a full stroke within three months, so TIA should be treated as a potential precursor to a stroke.
Lifestyle plays a major role in the risk of a stroke, with the following being the major factors:
- High blood pressure
- Being overweight
- Predisposition in people of south Asian, African or Caribbean descent
- Age (although people of any age can have a stroke)
For those at risk, a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise can help to prevent a stroke.
A stroke can have both a physical and mental impact on the victim with the lasting effects including:
- Anxiety and depression
- Personality changes
- Problems with movement, including paralysis
- Problems with communication, including slurred speech or aphasia
- Loss of bladder/bowel control
Because the effects of stroke can be extremely severe, if not fatal, a person suffering from a stroke needs treatment as quickly as possible. Ways to identify that a person is having a stroke include:
- Face - Is the person’s face drooping on one side? Can they smile? Has one eye dropped?
- Arms - Can the person lift their arms, or are they experiencing weakness or numbness?
- Speech - Can the person speak? If so, is their speech slurred?
- Time - Dial 999 immediately
Case study: mother suffers stroke following negligent treatment - six-figure sum
Helen, 36, is unable to work, struggles with simple tasks such as reading and writing and suffers from depression after having a major stroke that her family believe could have been prevented.
After contacting the medical law experts at Hospital Negligence Helen’s case was taken on by Sue Taylor, one of our medical negligence team.
Helen’s problems began when she was visiting her mother and suffered her first mini-stroke. Her mother recognised the signs, which included slurred speech, and rushed her to her own GP.
The GP contacted Helen’s own doctor to make her an appointment for later that day. Helen attended the appointment with her doctor and was advised to come back for a blood test the following day. As she was waiting in the surgery the next day, Helen suffered another mini-stroke and the doctor advised that she be taken to hospital.
Sent home from the hospital
Helen was initially admitted to hospital and underwent brain scans the following day. However she was sent home that evening before any diagnosis was made and she was also not given aspirin, despite the fact that she had suffered mini-strokes.
That night Helen had a major stroke while in bed which left her with a permanent brain injury.
Claim for permanent damage
Sue Taylor instructed independent medical experts to build a case against the hospital for Helen. They commented that there was a failure to recognise the signs of stroke and appreciate the findings of the scan. They also said that it is likely that treatment with aspirin would have helped Helen.
While the hospital trust never admitted liability for Helen’s injury, Sue obtained a six figure compensation settlement to help the family to cope with the impact of Helen’s permanent brain damage.
Talk to Us
Sometimes the impact of a stroke can be less severe if treatment occurs quickly. If you feel that you or a loved one did not get treatment quickly enough, either by paramedics or in hospital, and that this negatively affected your recovery, you may be able to make a claim for medical negligence. Call the solicitors at HospitalNegligence.co.uk on 0800 014 7481 or complete our online enquiry form to find out if you are eligible to claim compensation.