Neuroradiology Experts Opine on Unexpected Hemorrhage

A patient originally hospitalized for a carotid endarterectomy suffered numerous severe respiratory complications from the procedure, sustaining irreparable nerve damage from a stroke in postoperative recovery. Though his vital signs and probability readings for both strokes and comas were low immediately after the operation, no further check-ups were ordered after the first day of his hospitalized recovery period. On the second day, however, he was noted to have right-sided weakness, deviation of the eyes and paralysis of his entire right side, and was intubated for inability to breathe. The patient quickly had a severe stroke, and a scan revealed that there was a large hemorrhage and enduring brain damage, which his family alleged was caused by his doctor’s failure to recognize and document changes in his vital signs.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you routinely treat patients like the one described above?
  • 2. Have you ever had a patient develop the same outcome or complications as this case?

Expert Witness Response E-040909

Expert-ID: E-040909

I am a board certified Neuroradiologist. I work at a comprehensive stroke center, where I interpret thousands of Brain MRI and CT imaging every year. I have seen hundreds of cases of stroke, am familiar with their imaging appearance as well as their proper follow-up and diagnostic procedures. I have been a lecturer on “stroke imaging” for the American College of Radiology, and reviewed many similar cases.

Expert Witness Response E-007445

This appears to be related to a stroke from decreased blood supply in the left carotid artery area. Possibilities include dissection, carotid occlusion, or intracranial arterial occlusion. In my professional opinion, this should have been treated as an acute stroke emergency.


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