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A stroke can be a devastating event, often leaving patients with lifelong disabilities. Unacceptable delays in the diagnosis and treatment of strokes, stroke misdiagnosis and clinical negligence in the care provided to a stroke patient can lead to further, avoidable brain damage. The specialist team of solicitors at Penningtons Manches Cooper has wide-ranging experience in assisting clients in stroke negligence compensation claims for injury resulting from these scenarios.
The term ‘stroke’ encompasses a variety of more specific diagnoses but in broad terms it applies when the blood supply to part of the brain is stopped. Generally, strokes can be divided into two categories, ischaemic and haemorrhagic. An ischaemic stroke is caused by a blood clot stopping the blood supply to the brain while a haemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel supplying the brain bursts. An ischaemic stroke needs treatment to break down the blood clot (by thrombolysis or intervention) to restore blood flow and in a haemorrhagic stroke the focus is on stopping the bleeding and consequent damage.
Another common type of stroke is a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), often referred to as a ‘mini stroke’. This happens when the blood supply to the brain is briefly interrupted. Although the effects are likely to be less serious than a stroke, a TIA should still be taken very seriously and thoroughly investigated as it could be a precursor to a more serious stroke.
Timing of treatment is often key. Regardless of the cause or type of stroke, essentially damage is caused by the interruption of blood supply to parts of the brain – and the longer that continues, the more damage will be caused. Early warning signs associated with a stroke include slurred speech, facial weakness and numbness in one arm.
Usually diagnosis is via blood tests and imaging - it is important that the type of stroke and area of the brain affected are identified (usually by CT scanning) in order for the best treatment to be provided and to avoid cases of stroke misdiagnosis.
Our clinical negligence lawyers are experienced in acting for patients who have suffered a stroke as a result of poor anticoagulation or other medication management as well as in compensation claims involving a failure to warn of the risks of a stroke and poor follow up after initial warning signs or TIAs. We also specialise in cases involving incorrect treatment after a head injury and negligent surgical management where the stroke itself would have been avoided with appropriate care.
A further area of focus involves cases where clinicians have failed to identify the symptoms of a stroke or where there have been unacceptable delays in arranging investigations or treatment. In such situations, we have assisted our clients in bringing misdiagnosis compensation claims for the additional injury caused by the delay in providing prompt or appropriate treatment.
Examples of stroke clinical negligence cases handled by our team:
It is not always easy to tell whether a stroke could have been prevented or whether it was correctly treated. If you are worried about the treatment you have received before or after a stroke, our lawyers would be happy to have an initial no obligation, free of charge discussion with you about your concerns. We offer various types of funding for stroke misdiagnosis and negligence claims, including legal aid and no win no fee (conditional fee) agreements.
Obtaining a substantial settlement for our client, despite a blanket denial that the infection caused by the Legionnaire’s Disease was in any way causative of the stroke, with only three weeks before the case was due to go to trial.
Settling a claim for £90,000 for a client who suffered a stroke after having his hair washed at a salon using a back wash shampoo basin.
Settling a claim against St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for a woman who suffered a fall from her bed while she was recovering from brain surgery for a stroke.