If you know someone who has suffered a stroke, you know that these events are a medical emergency. A patient’s life and health often depend on treating this condition quickly.

Why, then, are around 9 percent of stroke patients misdiagnosed when they first seek treatment?

What are the symptoms? Some might be harder to spot.

While many medical providers know the most common symptoms of a stroke like slurred speech or a drooping face, some patients exhibit less specific symptoms. Dizziness, nausea or confusion can all be early signs that a patient is going through a stroke, but they might also be symptoms of various other conditions. Doctors might overlook the possibility of a stroke while exploring other conditions.

Doctors may ignore the possibility of a stroke in some patients.

While strokes are most common among certain patients, that does not mean that doctors should ignore the possibility of a stroke in people who don’t fit those criteria. Unfortunately, younger people suffering a stroke are more likely to be misdiagnosed, with some data indicating that younger patients are seven times more likely to face a misdiagnosis. Women and minorities also face high misdiagnosis rates, with these populations 20 to 30 percent more likely to be misdiagnosed.

If a doctor’s negligence led to misdiagnosis when you or a loved one experienced a stroke, you may want to explore your legal options. A medical malpractice case could help you hold doctors responsible and get the financial support you need in the aftermath of this medical emergency.