Fulton County Residents Secure Bell Law Firm After Stroke Goes Undiagnosed and Untreated
ATLANTA – December 17, 2019 –Stefan and Janet Lane, Fulton County residents, secured Lloyd Bell of Bell Law Firm to file a medical negligence action in DeKalb County against Emory Johns Creek Hospital. In December of 2017, five doctors employed by Emory Johns Creek Hospital failed to correctly diagnose and treat Stefan Lane’s stroke, leaving him with cognitive defects, inability to move his left arm or leg, and difficulty speaking and swallowing.
Lane first visited the ER at Emory Johns Creek Hospital reporting neurological symptoms on his left side. At that time, a stroke alert was called, but Lane was not seen by a neurologist. Less than a half hour later, Lane’s left-sided neurological symptoms returned to normal — meaning he had a “mini-stroke” that had resolved.
A mini-stroke, like a tremor before an earthquake, is a red flag warning that a more serious stroke may be on the way.
While Stefan was at the Emory ER, he suffered two additional mini-strokes, for a total of three.
With a patient like Stefan, doctors must order close neurological monitoring. The monitoring must be done at intervals of no longer than two hours. This interval matters, because the first treatment for a stroke is tissue plasminogen activator (TPA). TPA is a “clot buster,” that dissolves blood clots that are blocking the flow of blood and starving brain tissue of oxygen. But TPA can only be given up to 4-1/2 hours after stroke symptoms begin. So, if the interval for monitoring is too long, a nurse may see the symptoms too late for the doctors to order TPA.
The lawsuit filed by Bell Law Firm says the Emory doctors and nurses failed in multiple ways – doctors failing to order stroke-symptom monitoring at the correct intervals, nurses failing to perform the monitoring that was ordered, providers failing to recognize and respond to stroke symptoms they did observe, doctors failing to order diagnostic tests or neurology consultations urgently, a neurologist who failed to respond to stroke symptoms happening while he observed the patient (suggesting instead a psychiatric explanation – “conversion disorder”).
“Emory dropped the ball with Stefan’s treatment, and violated the standard of care,” states Lloyd Bell. “Actually, multiple medical providers at Emory dropped multiple balls. Stefan must now live out his life with catastrophic injuries that rob him of his ability to travel, walk on the beach, carry on a conversaron, and enjoy his retirement years. We will be seeking full and fair compensation for Stefan and his family. Also, by holding Emory fully accountable for their negligence, we hope they will make the necessary system changes to ensure no one else needlessly suffers from preventable medical malpractice.”