Quick treatment critical for stroke victims

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 130,000 people die in the country each year from a stroke. However, not every stroke is fatal. There are steps that people in Arizona might be able to take to prevent a stroke or recover if one occurs.

Certain conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, can all contribute to the likelihood that a person may have a stroke. Certain lifestyle factors, such as smoking or alcohol abuse, might also increase stroke risk. One key to surviving a stroke is identifying that a stroke is underway and getting treatment quickly.

Most people who suffer from strokes are older than 65. However, people who are 45 and younger might have a stroke as well. Chances can be increased by risk factors such as obesity, smoking, sleep apnea and high blood pressure. Unfortunately, a stroke in a younger person may go unrecognized. A medical professional may send a younger stroke victim away with an incorrect diagnosis of vertigo, intoxication, migraine or inner ear disorder. This could hinder the treatment of a stroke since the hours after one occurs are critical.

Failing to recognize symptoms when a person is not in a particular risk group or has atypical symptoms is one reason that a misdiagnosis might occur. For example, women and men have different heart attack symptoms, and a doctor may not realize that a heart attack is underway. A medical professional may fail to order additional tests for a younger person who has colon cancer because of a lack of family history or risk factors. However, a misdiagnosis that adversely affects a person’s health and is the result of not receiving a reasonable standard of care could legally be considered medical malpractice.