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Stroke misdiagnosis common for younger patients

May 30, 2017 | Failure to Diagnose

A stroke is not something most New York residents think about when they are in their 30s or 40s. While it is true the chance of a stroke happening to a younger person is only about 1 in 1000, strokes may end up being even more dangerous to a younger person due to a misdiagnosis.

Despite the relatively low risk of stroke in younger individuals, statistics indicate that it has still sharply increased for those 45 and younger. This is primarily due to an associated increase in risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes that are affecting young people more than ever. Regardless of age, it is important to take the signs of a stroke seriously and ensure that proper treatment is sought quickly.

Rapid medical response is critical to minimizing the damage caused by a stroke. The optimal treatment time is as little as three to four hours after the onset of symptoms. While doctors are likely to consider a stroke in an older patient, they may not look for it in a young person. Instead, the symptoms are passed off as a migraine, inner ear problems or vertigo. These patients are often sent home, and they may not receive the proper treatment until long after the optimal window has passed, their symptoms worsen and they suffer serious brain damage.

When a stroke is misdiagnosed as a less harmful condition and the patient is sent home without proper treatment, the consequences can be dire. A failure to timely diagnose a stroke may result in brain damage and permanent disability or death. Patients or their family members who have been harmed in this manner may want to discuss their options with a medical malpractice attorney.