By: Carl J Grasso. Could motor dysfunction been avoided or lessened if treatment was rendered faster?
When diagnosis or treatment if stroke is delayed, the victim of the medical malpractice often suffers worse motor dysfunction then they would have if treatment had been rendered faster.
Apraxia is the loss of motor functions, balance, and sensory perception, without damage of the muscle tissue. This occurs due to the lack of oxygen: oxygen is cut off to the brain during a stroke.
There are different types of Apraxia and different methods of treatment for each one.
Constructional Apraxia “is the impairment in producing designs in two or three dimensions, by copying, drawing or constructing, whether upon command or spontaneously. Constructional Apraxia results from lesions in either cerebral hemisphere and limits the patient’s ability to perform purposeful acts while using objects in the environment (Freishtat et al. 37).” This disorder prevents the ideas of object permanence and visual-spatial disability. The patient can’t discern where an object is in relationship to themselves. This effects a person’s ability to operate a motor-vehicle, use scissors or simply walk around their house. The way to treat this Apraxia is by exercise the part of the brain that was damaged by either the stroke or the malpractice that occurred after the stroke.
Dressing Apraxia is common side-effect from stroke and from delayed treatment for stroke. This condition occurs where the stroke victim suffers an inability to dress themselves after the stroke. This Apraxia relates more to body scheme and or spatial relations. This means that the patient is confused on the order of things. For example a patient might put on his sneakers and then put socks on over the sneakers. The treatment is where a pattern for dressing is set with cue cards or numbers stitched on to educational-clothes so the patient establishes order in dressing themselves.
There are other forms of apraxia: motor, ideomotor, and ideational apraxia are three separate apraxias but similar in behavior and very difficult to differentiate.
Motor Apraxia, is the loss of kinesthetic memory, which allows the patient the understanding of a purpose to specific task. One may be able to turn a door knob, but can’t open the door, or one can open the door but does not know to let go of the door knob.
Ideomotor Apraxia is the inability to carry out gesture commands. This causes a patient to be able to understand the concept but cannot do the command. An example would be if a patient could try to write with a pencil but couldn’t do it, but the patient can verbally describe the process of writing with a pencil.
Ideational Apraxia is the lack to the ability to carry out activities because the patient lacks the concepts and understanding of the activity. For example, if a patient was told to spread butter on an English Muffin, the patient might spread the English Muffin with just the butter knife and without the butter. Or use the English Muffin instead of the knife to try and cut the stick of butter. It is a confusing of processes.
Another type of Apraxia is Verbal Apraxia. “Verbal Apraxia is the difficulty in forming and organizing intelligible words, although the musculature required to do remains intact (Freishtat et al. 50).” Treatment for this Apraxia is long term involvement with a speech pathologist.
None of the treatments are free. If you or a family member suffered a stroke and you think that medical care was delayed for any reason, you may have a valid case for medical malpractice against the doctor or hospital that was involved in the care.
New York medical malpractice lawyers Cory Rosenbaum and Robert Fader will speak with you for free if you want to talk about your right to sue for stroke related injuries.
Freishtat, Brenda., Siev, Ellen., Zoltan, Barbara (1991) The Adult Stroke Patient: A Manual for Evaluation and Treatment of Perceptual and Cognitive Dysfunction. Thorofare, New Jersey. SLACK incorporated