4 years ago my grandma was told that she had 84% (plaque) blockage in her neck. We thought she should have it removed, her doctor didn't agree. A few months ago she took a few spells where her symptoms included headache, dizziness, tingling and numbness on one side of her face (we figured she was having mini strokes). She made an appointment and had an MRI. The doctor said results were normal (it took her to weeks of calling for results to get them because the doc was busy w/ surgeries). 2 wks. later she had another spell, but worse. 3 days later she had pain in her head, dizziness, paralysis on her entire left side, etc. and was taken to the hospital. She had a stroke, they did a MRI (this time with radio-active dye) result was positive. she has hypertension, but wasn't treated for it.
The family agrees that this stroke could have been avoided if the physican showed more concern and followed the correct steps of diagnosis, treatment and prevention. My grandma lives and has been treated in Kentucky. My mother and I live in northeast Ohio.
Ethics / Professional Responsibility Lawyer
If there is a case, it's your grandmother's case and she has to decide whether to pursue it. If so, she should consult with the very best medical malpractice lawyer she can find in the area where she lives. Consultation with medical malpractice lawyers is always free, and these cases are taken on contingency or not at all. Whether a case should be pursued for your grandmother is a decision that needs to be based on a much more detailed understanding of the facts than you could possibly give in a post to Avvo.
I happen to have some personal knowledge of the medical issues involved, since someone very close to me had a similar blockage, and was operated on successfully. However, whether to operate on such a blockage is often a judgement call on the part of the doctor. It may well have been that the doctor thought it was more dangerous to operate than not. Whether that is true or not, it will be raised in defense of the doctor should a lawsuit be brought. I raise this issue just to give you some idea of what is involved in a case based on these facts. Medical malpractice cases are very tough. I wish your grandmother a good recovery, and failing that, I hope she finds a good lawyer.
Your grandmother would need to retain a local medical malpractice lawyer if she wanted to pursue.
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Potential medical malpractice cases require that you first retain an experienced medical malpractice attorney in the jurisdiction where the alleged malpractice occurred to gather all relevant medical records. Then, those records must be reviewed by a well-credentialed physician in the same speciality as the potential defendant doctor. The reviewing physician will determine if in his/her opinion the offending doctor failed to diagnose or treat the patient in accordance with applicable medical standards of care. Even if there is negligence by the doctor, the next question is just what injuries and losses did it cause the patient above and beyond his/her underlying conditions. And finally, because of the tremendous expense of such cases and today's tort reform climate, liability must be strong and damages/losses nearly catastrophic to make such a case viable. Check with a KY medical malpractice attorney for your grandmother to determine if she has a viable case.
Medical Malpractice Attorney
the case if there is one is your grandmother's to bring, and based on what you've described most likely has to be brought in kentucky (if she still lives there)
whether to order contrast and how to treat the findings is an issue for an expert physician to resolve. if you fell strongly consult an attorney in the area where she lives who is thoroughly familiar with medical mlapractice cases
Disclaimer: Mr. Milligram is an attorney licensed to practice law in the States of New York and New Jersey. This response is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship; rather this response is intended to be legal education only and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice. It is merely intended to provide educational material and general information to aid the poster in finding answers to the problem posed. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. In most cases, it is best to contact an attorney directly to find answers to your problems.