The Mayo Clinic defines sleep apnea as a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. It falls under two categories, but certain patients suffer from both forms concurrently:
- Obstructive sleep apnea: Most common. Occurs when throat muscles relax.
- Central sleep apnea: Occurs because the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control a person’s breathing.
The American Sleep Apnea Association reports that more than 18 million Americans are affected by sleep apnea and its complications, and recent medical studies have tied sleep apnea to an increased risk of stroke, cardiovascular problems and other ailments. If left untreated, sleep apnea patients are at risk for serious, life-threatening conditions.
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Failure to Diagnose Attorneys in Portland
The attorneys at Miller & Wagner, are some of the most experiencedmedical malpractice lawyers in northern Oregon and southwestern Washington. We understand the dangers associated with sleep apnea and the serious effects it can have if left undiagnosed or untreated. Several risk factors are associated with sleep apnea, including:
- Excess weight
- Thick necks that can lead to narrow airways
- Gender (males are twice as likely to suffer from sleep apnea)
- Age (anyone over 60 has an increased chance of being afflicted)
- Tobacco use
- Family history
- Waking up tired, with a dry mouth or sore throat
If you visited your doctor and exhibited any of these risk factors, he or she should have tested you for sleep apnea. This is done by monitoring your heart, lung and brain activity, as well as your movements during sleep and your blood oxygen levels. If he or she did not issue a test and you suffered a stroke, you should call our office immediately.
Sleep Apnea Testing Following a Stroke
You should be tested immediately for sleep apnea if you suffered a stroke. You could be at risk for additional, worsening strokes if you have sleep apnea and it goes untreated. Obtaining the proper care and developing a treatment plan are vital to your health and future.
From our offices in Portland, our medical malpractice trial attorneys represent plaintiffs in medical negligence claims against physicians and health care providers throughout Oregon and Washington. For your convenience, we have a satellite office in Eugene.