by Gary Brooks Mims
I am a medical malpractice attorney who has, unfortunately, represented many stroke victims. Failure to diagnose stroke occurs too often and leaves patients with debilitating injuries. And, all too often, those permanent injuries could have been avoided. I recently witnessed how the failure to diagnose stroke occurs when a friend of mine was rushed to the Emergency Room. It’s an instructive story for us all, about stroke, how it is diagnosed, and how it can be missed.
This is a personal story. I received an urgent call from a friend who said her husband — a 40-year-old in good health– suddenly developed headache, distorted vision and difficulty standing. They had gone straight to the emergency room. Since I’m a medical malpractice lawyer who’s represented many stroke victims, I was asked to meet them at the hospital. When I arrived, the symptoms had subsided and I was told that stroke was ruled out. I asked how was it ruled out? Well, he passed the NIHSS (National Institute of Health Stroke Scale) and a CT of the brain didn’t show a stroke.