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Mini-stroke sufferers could experience lasting impacts

Aug 1, 2016 | Failure to Diagnose

New Yorkers who sustain minor strokes, also known as transient ischemic attacks may be at higher risk for other ailments. TIAs involve the partial stoppage of circulation to the brain, and they may be associated with stroke-like symptoms that appear to dissipate within 24 hours. A 2016 study published by scientists at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. found that patients who had survived TIA incidents were more likely to later visit the doctor for problems like depression, anxiety, fatigue or cognitive difficulties.

The researchers concluded that patients might benefit from general improvements in the way TIA sufferers are treated. They also said that existing follow-up practices could include a risk of misdiagnosis. Such mistakes may also be related to symptom underreporting by patients and medical professionals alike.

The researchers maintain that based on their findings, TIAs should be reclassified from their current transient status because they have the potential to permanently impact patients’ quality of life. Compared to the general population, TIA suffers experienced a 43 percent higher risk of fatigue and a 45 percent higher risk of cognitive impairment. Patients have also been shown to be in heightened danger of a full-on stroke.

Modern medical understanding of ailments like strokes and other circulatory deficiencies is still evolving, so doctors may fail to notice signs of specific conditions due to their lack of knowledge. In some cases, however, such mistakes arise because they simply failed to order the correct lab work or misread test results. Improper diagnoses could mean patients go untreated as their illnesses worsen. Victims who want to recover the medical costs they incurred may file lawsuits, but this process can be complex. Talking to a lawyer could make it easier to understand different legal options.