Our medical malpractice attorneys in Michigan file cases against hospitals for the failure to properly give TPA to a patient presenting with early signs of a stroke in the hospital emergency department. A patient presenting with the symptoms of a stroke should be carefully evaluated and tested for the condition before being discharged home from the hospital. Medical malpractice claims alleging the failure to diagnose and treat patients presenting with signs and symptoms of a stroke are the third most frequent type of malpractice claim alleged against emergency departments.
There are two different kinds of strokes. The first is called an ischemic stroke. Ischemic strokes occur when there is an interruption to the flow of blood supply to the brain. A blood clot can cause an ischemic stroke. The second type of stroke is called a hemorrhagic stroke. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel is ruptured, causing blood to flood the brain. A fully ruptured aneurysm can cause a hemorrhagic stroke.
It is possible to treat a stroke before the patient suffers significant and irreversible damage. A drug called a tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) can often prevent many of the most harmful effects of a stroke. The emergency physicians must make a prompt determination if this drug will be effective because TPA must be administered within the first three hours of the onset of the stroke. It can only be used if there is a blood clot in the brain, but not if there is bleeding. TPA dissolves the blood clot, opening up the artery for blood to flow again.
TPA should generally not be used after the three hour time frame because it can actually have harmful effects to the patient. When there is bleeding in the brain and TPA is used, it can make the bleed even worse and cause further injury and harm to the stroke patient. The misuse of TPA that results in death or injury can also give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit.
To determine whether you or someone you know has the legal basis to file a stroke lawsuit for failing to give TPA or giving TPA too late, you should contact our office immediately to discuss your case. There are strict time deadlines for filing cases and if you miss that deadline your case will be barred forever. Fill out our contact form or call our medical malpractice lawyers at (800) 606-1717 to get started on your case.