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Failure to Diagnose A Vertebral Artery Dissection Causing Stroke or Death

Our Michigan medical malpractice lawyers represent patients in cases involving the failure to diagnose a vertebral artery dissection.   This medical condition is considered a serious and emergent medical condition and a delay in diagnosis and treatment can lead to a tragic outcome.  When a patient dies due to a vertebral artery dissection that is not properly treated, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

When a patient visits a hospital or doctor after an accident, traumatic injury, or other force that jolts the head and neck, it can create a tear to the lining of the vertebral artery.  When this occurs, blood leaks into the wall of the artery and can form a blood clot.  Once the clot thickens enough, it can cut off blood supply and oxygen to the brain.  If not promptly diagnosed and treated it can lead to a stroke or death.

Symptoms of Vertebral Artery Dissection

Some common symptoms of a vertebral artery dissection include the following:

  • Headache
  • Neck Pain
  • Vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Visual Field Defects
  • Weakness on one side of the face

Patients who present to a doctor or hospital with these symptoms and other risk factors of this condition should be fully worked up and evaluated in a prompt and timely manner.  Tests can include an angiogram, MRI, and duplex ultrasound.

Treatment of Vertebral Artery Dissection

With prompt diagnosis, a vertebral artery dissection can be treated with a blood clot thinner, like heparin, which is given intravenously.  Later on, the medication can be changed to Coumadin (warfarin) which is taken orally after the patient leaves the hospital.  If these treatments are unsuccessful, attempts can be made surgically or with a percutaneous balloon angioplasty and stenting.  When timely diagnosed and properly treated, most patients have a favorable outcome.

Contact Your Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawyer

To determine whether you or someone you know has the legal basis to file a failure to diagnose a vertebral artery dissection medical malpractice case , 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.