WILKES-BARRE, PA – JUNE 15, 2022 – Distasio & Kowalaski LLC is pleased to announce that attorneys Daniel J. Distasio and Michael J. Kowalski, partners in the personal injury firm, have been named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers for the 14th consecutive year. Both have been top-rated in the categories of Personal Injury Attorney, General: Plaintiff, as well as Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff.
The partners from Distasio & Kowalski have handled hundreds of complex cases, including birth injury, medical negligence, wrongful death, medical malpractice, as well as auto and tractor-trailer crash cases.
Super Lawyers rates lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high level of peer recognition and professional achievement. The objective is to create a comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys. Candidates are first nominated by their peers and then subjected to a multi-phase comprehensive state-by-state selection process. Each year, no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor bestowed by Super Lawyers magazine. The annual selections are made using a multiphase process that includes nominations, independent research, peer reviews, and evaluation by practice area. Attorneys are evaluated based on peer recognition and achievements including verdicts/settlements, representative clients, experience, honors/awards, pro bono and community service, and other outstanding achievements among other criteria.
Distasio & Kowalski LLC is located in Wilkes-Barre. The personal injury firm specializes in Auto & Truck Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Birth Injury, and Wrongful Death.
For more information on Distasio & Kowalski LLC, please visit www.dklawllc.com or call 570-970-5400.
Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States and stroke misdiagnosis is a major healthcare problem. Learning the risk factors and warning signs of a stroke can help you to better advocate for yourself and those you love. If you believe you or someone you’re with may be having a stroke, pay close attention to the time symptoms began. Certain treatment options may depend on the time that has passed.
Symptoms & Signs of a Stroke
Trouble speaking or understanding what others are saying. This might include slurring words or having difficulty understanding speech.
Sudden onset of a severe headache. This may be accompanied by dizziness and vomiting.
Paralysis, weakness, or numbness of the face, arm, or leg. This may develop suddenly and often affects just one side of the body
Problems seeing in one or both eyes. This might include blurred, dimmed, or double vision in one or both eyes.
Trouble walking. This may include dizziness, loss of coordination, or difficulty walking.
Fainting and confusion.
Stroke Warning Signs
Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the above signs of a stroke. A good test if you notice these signs in someone you’re with is remembering to act “FAST”. FACE – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their face droop? ARMS – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one drift downward or is unable to rise? SPEECH – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange? TIME – If you observe any of these signs, it’s time to call 911 or seek immediate emergency medical help.
Understand the risk factors of a stroke
There are many risk factors for a stroke. Some are lifestyle choices that you can control, others are medical in nature. Reduce your stroke risk by working to reduce your risk factors wherever possible. Risk factors of stroke include:
High blood pressure
Sickle cell disease
Family history of stroke
Heavy or binge drinking
Previous stroke or transient ischemic attack
Birth control pills
As we mentioned and you can see with the risk factors, some are controllable. Working with your family doctor to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in the normal range, as well as quitting smoking and cutting down on drinking can help. Getting active, eating healthy, staying at a healthy weight, and lowering your stress levels are all controllable and can help you reduce the risk of stroke as well.
Type of strokes
2 Main types of strokes
An ischemic stroke happens when a blood vessel supplying blood to your brain gets blocked by a blood clot. The majority of strokes are ischemic. Symptoms of an ischemic stroke can include many of those we mentioned above. You are more likely to have an ischemic stroke if you are over age 60, smoke, and have high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
A hemorrhagic stroke happens when bleeding in the brain damages nearby cells. The most common causes of this type of stroke are high blood pressure, injury, bleeding disorders, cocaine use, and an aneurysm. Symptoms can include intense headache, confusion, nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light, problems with vision, and fainting.
Transient Ischemic Attack or Mini Stroke
A TMI or mini-stroke is a temporary blockage of the blood flow to your brain. The symptoms might last for just a few minutes or may last longer. The symptoms of TIA are similar to those we mentioned above under the symptoms & signs of a stroke. Risk factors can include age, obesity, smoking, family history, atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.
Being better prepared and knowing the warning signs of a stroke can help you seek treatment faster. Teach your children and others in your family about FAST. Precious moments count when it comes to a stroke. When a stroke victim’s signs and symptoms have been misdiagnosed, it can lead to a tragic delay in treatment. If you believe you or a family member are the victims of stroke misdiagnosis or a delay in diagnosis and treatment on the part of a medical professional, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. A misdiagnosed stroke can have long-lasting consequences. Contact Distasio & Kowalski stroke misdiagnosis lawyers to see if you have a medical malpractice case.
A delay in stroke diagnosis or failure to diagnose a stroke can lead to permanent brain damage or even death. Delay in diagnosis or failure to diagnose a stroke might happen for a variety of reasons. One of the most critical mistakes a medical professional can make is a misdiagnosis of a stroke. According to the American Heart Association 2022 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update Fact Sheet, stroke accounted for 1 of every 19 deaths in the United States. On average, someone died of a stroke every 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
7 Possible causes for a delay in stroke diagnosis
Failure on the part of a medical professional to properly prioritize the care of a patient based on the severity of injury/illness.
Failure on the part of a healthcare professional to ask about risk factors and take a detailed medical history.
Inadequate levels of medical staff in a healthcare facility.
Failure by a physician to conduct a proper physical exam or order the appropriate testing based on symptoms.
Lack of experience on the part of medical staff.
Failure to properly monitor a patient.
Failure to follow proper protocol for stroke patients
Tests to help properly diagnose a stroke
Getting the proper medical treatment quickly when suffering a stroke is critical for minimizing the side effects and preventing death. This includes a thorough physical and neurological exam. Unfortunately, an ER doctor or other medical professional might overlook or ignore early signs of a stroke. It happens more often than you may realize, causing a critical delay in treatment. Here are some tests that can help properly diagnose a stroke.
Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to take a detailed picture of a brain. It’s sharper than a CT scan and
MRI ( Magnetic resonance imaging ) of brain
can show injuries earlier than a traditional CT scan.
CT scans. Through computerized tomography (CT) scans, a physician takes several x-rays from different angles and puts them together to show if there’s any bleeding in the brain or damage to brain cells.
Carotid ultrasound. This type of ultrasound uses sound waves to find fatty deposits that may have narrowed or blocked arteries that carry blood to your brain.
This imaging test of the heart can look for clots in the heart or enlarged parts of the heart. Sometimes clots that form in another part of the body, such as the heart, will travel to the brain.
Angiograms of the head and neck. This is a dye test that enables a physician to see blood vessels with an X-ray. It can help find a blockage or aneurysm.
If you’re advocating for someone you believe is having a stroke, don’t be afraid to request these tests.
The use of tPA as a stroke treatment
tPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) is a powerful drug used to help dissolve a clot that may be causing a patient’s stroke and restore blood flow to the brain. tPA would only be given to a patient with an ischemic or blockage-type stroke. Ischemic strokes account for about 85% of all strokes in the U.S. and tPA is a common treatment of ischemic stroke caused by a clot. It would be very dangerous if given to a patient who is already bleeding, such as one suffering from a hemorrhagic stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery in the brain leaks blood or ruptures. For tPA to be used correctly, a brain scan is used to determine what type of stroke occurred, if there is a clot, and if so, where it is located. tPA must be given within three hours of the first sign of ischemic stroke.
Consequences of failure to diagnose a stroke
Many victims of delayed stroke diagnosis face lengthy recovery and lifelong medical bills. Importantly, failure to diagnose and properly treat a stroke can result in serious neurological impairments, including:
Sadly, one of the most frequent types of medical malpractice cases we see is a failure to diagnose a stroke. As we mentioned above, stroke treatment is most successful with early intervention and proper diagnosis and care. Importantly, delay in diagnosis can have lifelong consequences for a stroke patient. The National Institute of Health reported that each year, about 795,000 people in the U.S. suffer from strokes. It is a leading cause of death and disability. If you or a loved one have been injured because of failure to diagnose a stroke, the medical misdiagnosis lawyers at Distasio & Kowalski can help.
Attorney Kowalski specializes in cases of medical malpractice, birth injury, auto and truck accidents, nursing home negligence, and other medical negligence. He has appeared before state and federal courts throughout Pennsylvania on behalf of seriously injured accident and malpractice victims.
Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. The Best Lawyers in America rankings are based solely on peer-review surveys in which tens of thousands of attorneys confidentially evaluate their colleagues. It is the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.
Distasio & Kowalski LLC
Located in Wilkes-Barre, PA, Distasio & Kowalski LLC, specializes in birth injury, medical malpractice, auto & truck accidents, personal injury, and wrongful death.
For more information on Distasio & Kowalski LLC, please visit dklawllc.com or call 570-970-5400.