Stroke Compensation can be claimed where there has been a delay in getting a patient to a hospital or delay in diagnosis. Claims also concern inappropriate advice concerning care options, where there have been excessive delays in providing actual treatment, such as blood clot-busting drugs, or where there has been any substandard care that amounts to actual Medical Negligence.
Do contact our friendly team of specialist lawyers at Medical Solicitors. We conduct most of our Clinical and Medical Negligence claims under ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreements, also known as Conditional Fee Agreements. So, our clients do not have to worry about how they can possibly afford to pay for stroke compensation claims. You have nothing to lose in speaking to us.
What is a Stroke?
Stroke is a sudden attack on the brain cutting off the oxygen supply and leading to numbness, weakness, and paralysis. It is a major problem in the UK leading to about 11% of UK deaths. Those who survive this acute event can end up disabled in some way.
There is evidence that rapid medical treatment can lead to survival and even complete recovery. Delay on the other hand can be devastating. Therefore, the government has produced national guidelines for timescales of diagnosis and treatment in the most crucial first 48 hour period.
When should you speak to a Medical Solicitor?
- When there has not been an emergency assessment after having any of the signs referred to under the FAST test above
- If you qualified for thrombolysis treatment but did not get it
- Failure to refer you to a specialist unit for thrombolysis
- A lack of reasonable care after attending hospital for stroke. We are currently investigating a case where a lady who suffered from a mini-stroke but recovered. She was then admitted for overnight observation. She suffered a major stroke overnight. Overnight staff told her to go back to sleep when she reported her symptoms, instead of urgently calling for medical review.
- If you have suffered a stroke whilst taking the contraceptive pill. Our Director recovered a very large 6 figure sum for a 41-year-old lady, who should have been taken off the contraceptive pill when she was 36 years old. Had this happened then she would probably not have suffered a stroke aged 39, that left her with permanent disabilities. She was a former warehouse worker and was permanently unable to return to work.
What is a Transient Ischaemic Attack?
This is where the symptoms disappear within about 24 hours, sometimes called a mini-stroke (TIA). TIAs should still be treated as a medical emergency as they can be a sign that a major stroke is going to follow.
What are the signs of a stroke?
FAST is a standard test for recognising stroke:
FACIAL weakness: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
ARM weakness: Can the person raise both arms?
SPEECH problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
TIME to call 999.
You may have seen the dramatic adverts to raise public awareness on television:
What should happen straight away?
If a stroke is suspected the patient should be admitted directly from the community or the A & E department to a specialist acute stroke unit. There are now established specialist units around the UK. These units need to quickly investigate where the stroke is, how it has happened, and how serious it is, as some treatments are only effective within a number of hours.
By April 2020, all healthcare providers concerned with stroke should have a structure in place. This should specify all providers of pre-hospital care, hospital care, and rehabilitative care.
The NHS long-term plan is:
- By 2022, to ensure a 10-fold increase to the number of surgical procedures done to remove clots (called ‘Thrombectomy’).
- By 2025, to have the best performance record in Europe for giving clot-busting drugs to all eligible patients (‘Thrombolysis’).
What investigations are needed?
Patients need a blood pressure test, ECG, blood tests, and a brain scan (either CT or MRI). Later, a swallow test should be done, as well as other tests on the heart and blood vessels.
What treatments are available?
There are quite a few treatment options:
- Medication such as aspirin to thin the blood.
- Drugs to lower blood pressure.
- Fluids to prevent dehydration (especially if a patient cannot swallow).
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs to prevent fatty deposits in the bloodstream that can cause strokes.
- Intravenous drugs to thin the blood (thrombolysis) can be offered to patients with major symptoms of sudden onset. This is for those aged between 18-80 and should be given within 3 hours after a stroke. CT scanning is done first to show there is no bleed on the brain (brain haemorrhage). If there has been a bleed, this drug cannot be given. There are also other exclusions, for example, where the patient has had major surgery in the previous 2 weeks, or has diabetes and has already suffered a past stroke. Also, where there was a seizure when the stroke happened.