Unfortunately hundreds of patients each year attend Accident & Emergency Departments with the symptoms of stroke that are not promptly assessed and properly diagnosed, leading in some cases to permanent neurological damage.
The symptoms of a stroke include numbness, weakness or paralysis, slurred speech, blurred or loss of vision, confusion and severe headaches. The symptoms of a TIA include sudden, focal neurological deficit that lasts less than twenty-four hours and is thought to be vascular in origin. Patients who attend with these symptoms should immediately undergo a full neurological examination and be referred to a stroke unit.
Liam Moloney Solicitor recently attended an International medical conference which addressed failures by a number of UK hospitals to promptly recognise and diagnose the symptoms of stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA).
Commenting on the standard of care that should be given to patients he said today “the UK Nice Guidelines (2016) state that patients with acute stroke should have their swallowing screened using a validated screening tool by a trained healthcare professional within four hours of their arrival in hospital and before being given any oral food, fluid or medication. Patients with suspected acute strokes should receive brain imaging urgently and at most within one hour of arrival at the hospital”.
Diagnosing the symptoms of a stroke on occasion can be difficult but failure to act promptly and correctly diagnose a stroke or TIA can lead to devastating results.
Liam Moloney is a personal injury Solicitor who specialises in medical negligence and has been trained in the United Kingdom in medico-legal issues in Accident & Emergency care. If you or a family member are affected by the issues in this article please feel free to email LiamMoloney@moloneysolicitors.ie for further advice.