People go to emergency rooms (ER) to seek relief from their pain, trusting doctors will diagnose their medical conditions correctly and provide timely treatment. Unfortunately, some doctors fail to recognize common symptoms or misdiagnose health conditions. Sometimes when an injury or ailment is overlooked or not diagnosed correctly, it can mean the difference between life and death. This is sadly the case when a brain aneurysm is misdiagnosed due to ER negligence.
When a brain aneurysm is misdiagnosed and not treated, it can be a life-threatening condition because the aneurysm can rupture and cause brain damage or death. A brain aneurysm is caused by a weak spot in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain. Not all brain aneurysms cause symptoms, but when people do experience symptoms of a brain aneurysm, most of the time the symptoms come on suddenly and can include:
- Intense, sudden headache
- Vision changes such as blurred vision
- Neck pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light
- Speech troubles
- Facial drooping or paralysis on one side of the face
When emergency room nurses or doctors find out a patient is experiencing some of these symptoms, they should quickly run tests in order to diagnose a brain aneurysm. Some diagnostic tests can include a brain scan, lumbar puncture, a computed tomography (CT) angiogram scan, and a cerebral angiogram.
With these diagnostic tools and technology, one would assume that a brain aneurysm would never be overlooked or misdiagnosed. But sadly this isn’t the case since many people have suffered brain damage or death due to untreated brain aneurysms caused by the following types of medical negligence:
- Misdiagnosis error. Some signs of a brain aneurysm can be similar to a migraine, so it is possible that a doctor may disregard the seriousness of the headache and prescribe pain pills to a patient who complains of an intense headache.
- Testing errors. It is possible that a radiologist may make a mistake, the equipment malfunctions, or a doctor or other medical professional reads the scan or test incorrectly, resulting in an incorrect diagnosis.
If you believe a medical professional was responsible for misdiagnosing or overlooking the symptoms of a brain aneurysm and you or a loved one suffered the serious effects of such medical negligence, you may have a medical malpractice claim. To learn more about the laws surrounding medical malpractice or to get some of your questions answered by an experienced lawyer, please call our office today or Contact Us online.