Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Too often, strokes are missed in ERs

Clearly, more training is needed. A recent study showed that strokes are often missed in ERs:
Every year, tens of thousands of Americans with symptoms such as dizziness or headache are misdiagnosed in the ER in the days or weeks before they suffer a stroke, according to the researchers.
Women, minorities and those under age 45 are the most likely to be misdiagnosed, according to the study published online April 3 in the journal Diagnosis.
"It's clear that ER physicians need to be more discerning and vigilant in ruling out stroke, even in younger people," study leader Dr. David Newman-Toker, an associate professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said in a Hopkins news release.
That's a scary thought - people under 45, women and minorities are too often misdiagnosed. My own stroke came at age 39, so I feel incredibly fortunate that the right doctors and other professionals were at the right time and right place.

Of course, if a stroke diagnosed is missed or even delayed, it could mean more consequences for the stroke patient: Possibly more likely to suffer more profound disability, or even death.

If you see someone with stroke signs, make sure you make that known to the health professionals. You might save a life that way.


oc1dean said...

It's not training that's needed, it's a fast, cheap and easy objective way to diagnose a stroke.

Jeff Porter said...

Or the best of both - better tools, better training!