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Young individuals suffering a stroke often misdiagnosed

New Mexico residents may have some idea of the symptoms that an individual may suffer when they are having a stroke. Medical staff are also usually quick to diagnose and treat older adults. However, according to a 2009 study, young individuals who are suffering from a stroke are sometimes misdiagnosed when they are brought to the emergency room.

The study, called the Acute Stroke in the Young During Initial Presentation in the Emergency Room, documented the cases of 57 patients, all of whom were between the ages of 16 and 50. Based on the review of the cases, the senior author of the study stated that many of the young individuals were brought into the emergency room within three to six hours of suffering the symptoms and misdiagnosed. A misdiagnosis can be extremely detrimental for a stroke patient; there is only one approved treatment for acute stroke, and it must be delivered intravenously within the first three hours of the patient's symptoms.

The study revealed that 14 percent of the patients were misdiagnosed as having a migraine, vertigo, being under the effects of alcohol and other conditions. All of the individuals exhibited classic signs of stroke, including numbness in certain areas of the body, sudden vision trouble, sudden severe headache or loss of coordination, among others.

If a stroke is not properly and efficiently treated, the patient could be left permanently disabled. If a person suffered a stroke and had a delayed diagnosis, they may potentially be eligible to file a medical malpractice suit, possibly allowing them to recover any costs associated with medical care.

Source: Science Daily, "Young Adult Stroke Patients May Be Misdiagnosed In ER", November 05, 2014

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