Maybe you rush to the emergency ward because someone thinks you are having a stroke, only for the doctor to erroneously decide you did not. Or, perhaps you have a stroke while already in the hospital for something else, but the doctors and nurses fail to notice it immediately. In both cases, the delay could have catastrophic consequences for you, such as brain damage and permanent disability.
The quicker someone with a stroke gets appropriate attention, the greater the possibility that doctors can minimize the effect it has on the person’s life. Every minute really does count, and if someone fails to notice or diagnose a stroke, you could suffer unnecessary harm.
Women may suffer more
One study found that women who went to the emergency room (ER) after having a stroke typically had to wait longer to be seen than men. Once they finally got it diagnosed, they tended to receive less intensive treatment and therapy than men. So, all in all, their chance of a good recovery was lower.
Symptoms can present differently in women than in men
The researchers thought this may help explain why men got better attention. Doctors and nurses may think the women are suffering with someone else less serious. Symptoms that women might experience include:
- Feeling sick or actually vomiting
- Breathing difficulties
- Feeling weak
While strokes can be challenging to identify at times, hospitals owe it to their patients to make the correct diagnosis and to do so quickly. If they do not, anyone who suffers as a consequence has the right to ask whether the hospital or its employees were negligent.