As many Kansas City residents probably know from experience, a stroke is a very serious and potentially fatal medical condition. Those who survive a serious stroke may have to live with serious neurological problems for the rest of their lives, including paralysis and the inability to communicate verbally.

Prior to a stroke, many people will experience what is called a transient ischemic attack or TIA. Unlike a stroke, a TIA will come and go. However, the painful headaches and dizzy spells are oftentimes enough to get a person to seek medical care, frequently in an emergency room or other urgent care facility.

Unfortunately, many emergency room doctors and staff misdiagnose a TIA, frequently confusing it for a less serious condition like a migraine, an ear infection or some other condition. In some cases, the emergency room may just provide Tylenol and tell the patient to go home and rest.

The reason this is concerning is that a TIA calls for immediate medical treatment, as it is a warning sign that the patient could experience a stroke within the upcoming weeks or even days.

One expert predicted that between 50,000 and 100,000 patients have TIA symptoms that get missed by doctors. The result of these mistakes could mean tens of thousands of people suffer debilitating or even fatal strokes which could have been prevented had doctors caught the early warning signs.

Someone who experienced a stroke or who has a loved one who experienced a stroke should be suspicious if he or she had been complaining to medical professionals of headaches or dizziness prior to the stroke. While every case is different, it could be that a doctor’s incorrect or delayed diagnosis contributed to the person’s condition.