Stroke affects 795,000 per year in the United States, meaning that one person has a stroke every 40 seconds. While 88% of stroke patients do not get a warning, research from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore says that early warning signs of stroke are being missed by doctors in the emergency room for those who do get a warning.
How Strokes Are Misdiagnosed
12.7% of patients treated for stroke were originally misdiagnosed by the physician in the ER and returned later. Doctors confused early warning signs with other, less threatening conditions. Headaches and dizziness are symptoms of stroke, but also ear infections and migraines.
Based on this study, researchers believe that anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 people are injured by a misdiagnosed stroke each year. However, certain factors seem to increase the risk of being misdiagnosed in the study:
- Women were 33% more likely to have a misdiagnosis
- Minorities were 20-30% more likely to have symptoms ignored
- Patients under age 45 had the highest risk
How You Can Detect Stroke
The more you know, the better off you are. Detecting a stroke early or before it happens give the patient the best chance at a full recovery. Early warning signs for stroke include:
Certain risk factors for stroke are preventable, others are not- family history, race, age and gender.
- Numbness/Weakness of Extremities
- Blurred Vision
- Loss of Balance
- Severe Headache
- Difficulty Speaking
- Face Drooping
Concerned about your risk for stroke? Annual health screenings can help you better understand your risk factors and risk of diseases which can lead to stroke, including carotid artery disease. We offer five screenings to help you understand your personal risk. Start today by clicking here to take a free 5 minute online health risk assessment and learn more about your risk and what preventive screenings are medical appropriate for you!