Clinical Negligence

Publish date

30 April 2024

National Stroke Awareness Month – May 2024

May 2024 is National Stroke Awareness Month in the UK. Although the term ‘stroke’ will be familiar to most people, this month presents an important opportunity to raise awareness of just how prevalent strokes are, explain in brief terms what a stroke is and to give a reminder of the F.A.S.T test, which is crucial to ensuring that the symptoms of a stroke are detected and acted upon quickly.

Through our work acting for clients in clinical negligence cases, we often see the devastating impact that strokes can have on people’s lives. At the end of this short article we will briefly touch upon the types of claim we deal with and highlight the importance of bringing claims where avoidable injury has occurred.

The impact of a stroke can be life changing. Many strokes are fatal, while stroke survivors can be left with long term disabilities which have an enormous impact on their health and quality of life. Strokes are the largest cause of disability in the UK.

Their onset is often sudden, without any warning, and the damage can become more severe the longer a stroke is left untreated, which makes the F.A.S.T test of paramount importance.

Strokes can affect anyone, from young children to the elderly. One in four strokes happen to people of working age.

The Stroke Association estimates that around 100,000 people have strokes every year and there are around 1.3 million stroke survivors in the UK.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is caused by a lack of blood supply to the brain, which in turn causes damage to brain cells.

There are three main types of stroke.

  • Ischaemic stroke

An ischaemic stroke is the most common type of stroke and is caused by a blockage, resulting in the brain receiving an inadequate blood supply.

Without enough blood, brain cells start to die within a matter of minutes, often causing irreversible damage.

  • Haemorrhagic stroke

A haemorrhagic stroke is caused by a ruptured blood vessel, which causes a bleed to develop in or around the brain itself.

Haemorrhagic strokes can be divided into two types, intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH), where the bleeding forms within the brain, and subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH), where the bleeding occurs in the space around the brain.

  • Transient ischaemic attack (TIA)

A TIA is commonly referred to as a mini-stroke. These are caused by temporary blockages which stop blood from travelling to the brain for a short amount of time (often just a few minutes), causing temporary symptoms which can resolve relatively quickly.

The type of stroke is an important factor for clinicians when considering the type of treatment that is most appropriate for a patient.

Stroke injury

Strokes cause a vast range of injuries, from the physical, for example loss of movement, loss of speech, loss of vision, to the psychological, for example changes in personality, impaired mental health and conditions such as post-stroke depression.

In 2023 the Stroke Association raised awareness of aphasia, a communication problem which affects a stroke survivor’s ability to communicate and understand others.

The severity of a patient’s injury following a stroke will depend on the type of stroke, the severity of the stroke, how quickly the stroke is treated and which part of their brain is affected.

Signs of a stroke

Remember to act F.A.S.T and recognise the signs of a stroke:

F – Facial weakness. Has their face drooped?

A – Arm weakness. Can they raise both arms?

S – Speech problems. Can they speak clearly, or is their speech slurred?

T – Time to call 999. Act quickly and call an ambulance.

Stroke negligence claims

Our clinical negligence lawyers act for patients who have suffered a stroke or a stroke related injury as a result of clinical negligence.

  • Types of stroke claim

We act for patients in a range of stroke cases, where injury has been caused by negligence. These can be divided into two types of cases.

  1. Cases where strokes have been caused by medical negligence. Some examples of this are as follows:
  • A failure to give a patient medication which would have avoided their stroke e.g. anticoagulants, antiplatelets, statins
  • A failure by clinicians to monitor and appropriately manage a patient’s medication, which puts them at a higher risk of suffering a stroke
  • Missed opportunities to prevent a stroke, for example if a patient has presented to a doctor with symptoms such as headaches, numbness or tingling in the days before the stroke occurred.
  1. Cases where the damage caused by a stroke has been worsened by clinical negligence. These cases can involve:
  • Failures to diagnose a stroke, for example if a patient has suffered a stroke and their symptoms are mistaken for something else, resulting in a patient not receiving the timely treatment they need
  • Delays in treatment, resulting in preventable damage being caused
  • Inappropriate aftercare, where patients are not adequately supported and suffer a further injury as a result of their vulnerability.
  • Making a claim for stroke negligence

Bringing clinical negligence claims helps patients who have suffered the devastating impact of a stroke to  cope financially with the consequences of an avoidable injury, by ensuring that they have the compensation to help rebuild their lives. Compensation can help in numerous ways, from paying for daily care, compensating for lost wages, to paying for medical treatment and aids and equipment.

We regularly help people who have been impacted by medical negligence in relation to a stroke. By way of two examples, we recently obtained a six figure settlement for a patient who suffered an avoidable stroke after a previous TIA was missed, and we also secured compensation for a patient who suffered a stroke after their treating surgeon failed to recommence Warfarin medication following hernia surgery.

If you or a loved one have suffered a stroke related injury as a result of clinical negligence, call our specialist team of clinical negligence lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your potential claim.

If we consider that you have a potential case, we can act for you on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.












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