Stroke Malpractice by Hospitals
A hospital is the place where people who are at a high risk of stroke must go in order to receive the necessary monitoring and care. Under a nurse’s watchful eye in the ICU, medication can be administered quickly to prevent a stroke from causing serious harm.
But sometimes, things go wrong. ICU staffers aren’t as watchful as they should be, they fail to make their rounds, they miss the obvious warning signs … and the results can be disastrous.
A “transient ischemic attack” is not a stroke – but it is a sign that a stroke is coming soon. It has most of the same symptoms – dizziness, nausea, headache, loss of vision in one eye, loss of balance, facial droop – but unlike a full-blown stroke, it will eventually resolve itself.
Whenever a patient suffers a transient ischemic attack, it should put the hospital on high alert. The patient needs to be placed in the intensive care unit. He or she must be monitored every two hours to check for symptoms of an impending stroke.
Once stroke symptoms start to set in, the nurses have three hours to administer the drug tPA – “Tissue Plasminogen Activator.” Strokes are caused when blood clots block the flow of blood to the brain, and tPA dissolves those clots.
If the doctors wait more than three hours to administer this drug, it may be too late. The result will be permanent brain damage or death. That’s why nurses need to check on their patients at least every two hours to test for warning signs.
When the hospital misses the signs of a stroke, malpractice may be the root cause. If your loved one died or was disabled by a preventable stroke, contact the attorneys at Kaire & Heffernan, LLC for a free consultation of your legal options.