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Failure to diagnose stroke leads to lawsuit in Santa Fe

Because of the potential for extensive brain damage, a person who is having a stroke must be diagnosed and placed on the appropriate medications right away. Failure to diagnose a stroke can lead to delayed treatment which, in turn, can result in long-term medical consequences including permanent disability. For the New Mexico doctor who fails to catch the problem in time, this can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Albuquerque readers may be interested in a case involving a Santa Fe patient of Health Front who is suing the organization for damages. The man alleges that on April 12, 2010 a doctor working for the group failed to diagnose a stroke he was having and he suffered permanent damage as a result.

According to court documents filed on Oct. 22, the man was admitted to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center exhibiting symptoms of a stroke including numbness in the right arm and left leg, facial droop, and dizziness. The doctor ordered a number of tests, but ultimately concluded the patient was suffering from "benign positional vertigo" and "right-sided paresthesia".

However, when the man went home, his condition worsened and he sought treatment at a veteran's clinic. The medical professionals at that facility diagnosed him as having had an ischemic brain stem stroke. It was too late to use the medications typically administered to prevent or reduce the damage caused by a stroke. As a result, the patient suffered severe and permanent damage.

When people go to medical facilities for treatment, they expect the health professionals to do all they can to correctly diagnose and treat the problem. When that doesn't happen, serious issues can develop. People who have been harmed by a negligent physician or other medical staff should explore their options under New Mexico medical malpractice law.

Source:, "Man sues over misdiagnosis," Oct. 24, 2012

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