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Young stroke patients frequently misdiagnosed

Young people in New York who suffer from a stroke are likely to be misdiagnosed when they go to the emergency room, according to a new research study conducted by the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Wayne State University. The study entitled Misdiagnosis of Acute Stroke in the Young During Initial Presentation in the Emergency Room looked at data that was collected from 57 stroke patients who ranged in age from 16 to 50 years old.

According to the study, 14 percent of the young stroke patients were initially misdiagnosed with other medical conditions when they visited the emergency room. Some of the misdiagnoses included alcohol intoxication, migraine and vertigo. After being initially discharged from the hospital without receiving proper treatment, the patients were found to have suffered from a stroke later on.

A senior author of the study commented that emergency room staff might not be thinking about the possibility of stroke while assessing patients who are under 45 years old. If stroke patients do not receive proper treatment within the first few hours after the onset of symptoms, delayed diagnosis can put them at risk for permanent disability. After 48 to 72 hours has passed, hospitals have no major intervention method available to improve outcomes for stroke patients.

Because early intervention is so important for stroke patients, failure to diagnose this condition can result in long-term medical problems. A patient who has been misdiagnosed after suffering from a stroke may be able to claim compensation for their losses from the liable parties. An attorney can help an injured patient to file a medical malpractice claim by determining who is liable for their injuries and gathering all of the appropriate evidence.

Source: Science Daily, "Young Adult Stroke Patients May Be Misdiagnosed In ER", November 21, 2014

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