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Washington DC Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Clot Busters and Ischemic Stroke

Ira Weiss was a 62-year old professor of economics in New York when he suffered a stroke. His family found him passed out on the floor and took him to the hospital immediately. They alleged in a recent lawsuit that delays in treatment and errors in giving a crucial stroke medication called thrombolytics led to his current state of being unable to speak or take care of himself.

A stroke is a condition, which causes damage to the brain. A type of stroke called Ischemic stroke is caused by blood clots that block the blood flow in the vessels that supply blood, and the oxygen it carries, to the brain. As a result, brain cells die, which can lead to various levels of impairment or death.

When a patient arrives at an emergency room with symptoms of stroke, the group of medications called thrombolytics, if given in time, may be able to break up the blood clot and restore blood flow to the brain. Thrombolytics given properly can be a game-changer in the treatment of stroke.

At the same time, since thrombolytics break up blood clots by thinning the blood, they carry a risk: they can create internal bleeding, which may cause bleeding of the brain or hemorrhagic stroke. As a result, doctors follow a strict set of criteria in order to determine whether a patient with a stroke is eligible for these potentially life-saving drugs.

Malpractice in the treatment of stroke can take the form of either giving clot-busters when they are not called for and too dangerous, or not using them when their benefit outweighs the risk. This is a delicate balance, and we do not expect doctors to save every single life. However, we do expect them to adhere to the standard of care required of them by the medical profession.

Determining whether your doctor made the wrong decision and if that decision constituted malpractice requires both medical and legal experience. At the Wilson Law Firm, we have that knowledge, fine-tuned over decades of working on these cases. If you or a loved one has suffered a stroke and have questions about your care, please contact us.

Categories: Medical Malpractice