Medical Malpractice and Failure to Diagnose Cardiac Conditions

September 12, 2018 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Medical Malpractice and Failure to Diagnose Cardiac Conditions

Undiagnosed Cardiac Condition Medical Malpractice

The current leading cause of death in the united states is heart disease with 614,348 people dying every year because of it. In fact, heart disease has been the leading cause of death in this country for the past few decades with cancer and respiratory disease following closely behind. Your first line of defense should be maintaining a healthy lifestyle through good diet and regular exercise but more often than not, it comes down to speedy diagnosis from a doctor that can mean mean life or death for patients suffering from cardiac conditions. The earlier a cardiac condition is recognized and diagnosed, the easier it is to treat and turn things around. Unfortunately, there are often circumstances where a doctor will miss a cardiac condition in a patient and fail to diagnose. This often has severe consequences for a patient and can result in serious injuries and complications. A doctor or other healthcare provider can miss a cardiac condition for a number of reasons; namely because of neglect. Should a healthcare provider's negligence cause a cardiac condition to go undiagnosed then they would be liable in a medical malpractice claim that can recover compensation for the damages incurred because of that negligence.

How can a Doctor Fail to Diagnose a Cardiac Condition?

Any anomalous behavior of the human heart is typically indicative of something wrong and doctors will usually take steps to investigate. There is a reason why even the most rudimentary of examinations will examine heart rate and blood pressure. Irregularity in these measurements are cause for further examination and that is where some of the most failures to diagnose stem from. Some doctors can receive the wrong data or read data that would indicate that something is wrong, incorrectly. This can lead to them failing to notice an irregularity that would warrant further tests.

Tests to Diagnose Cardiac Conditions

The failure to order tests is a cause for negligence that goes beyond the failure to detect and diagnose cardiac conditions. It is a disturbingly common issue that plagues healthcare to this day. As mentioned before, the first test to determine whether someone has a cardiac condition starts with rudimentary physical examination of the patient. This includes not only measurement of heart rate and blood pressure but also the use of a stethoscope to listen to the heart and queries into the patient's medical history. If the their is reason to suspect something may be wrong then the doctor may order one of the following tests. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): The use of magnetic waves passed through the body allows the imaging of the parts of the body in detail that can allow doctors to pinpoint a problem. This is one of the most common tests to determine the source of a health condition in many cases other than cardiac conditions. Blood Tests: Examination of blood contents and its reaction to various tests tells doctors the quality of your circulatory system and heart health. Cardiac Catheterization: A small tube is inserted into a blood vessel and placed either in the heart or major artery so that a dye can be injected and viewed in what is called an angiogram. The angiogram can show any blockages and narrowing of blood vessels that can affect flow of blood through the heart. Chest X-rays: By taking x-rays of the chest, a doctor will be able to tell if the heart is enlarged or stressed as well as if there are any abnormal congestion. Electrocardiogram (EKG): Small electrodes are placed on a patient's chest and read by an EKG machine. The electrodes record your heart's rhythm, heartbeat frequency, and electrical conduction which can reveal whether a patient has had a heart attack, heart arrhythmia, and other heart issues associated with abnormal beat rhythm. Multiple-Gated Acquisition Scanning (MUGA): Radionuclides are injected into the bloodstream and a computer generates images of the radionuclides positions inside of the heart to show how much blood the heart is pumping and taking as well as the heart's structure and any damage it may have sustained in a heart attack. Echocardiography: An ultrasound test that looks at the heart's structure and shows how thick the heart muscles are as well as how well it is pumping blood. Should a doctor fail to order any of these tests when there is a reasonable cause to suspect a possible cardiac condition, then that may be considered negligent and make them liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit. When the doctor does not provide the standard of care that their fellow physicians do and fail to investigate a possible threatening cardiac condition, then that is negligent.

What Constitutes a Cardiac Condition?

A cardiac condition is any impairment or obstruction to the function of the heart. Conditions that affect the pumping of blood from the heart and through the arteries of the body to the various organs are considered cardiac conditions. Such Conditions include:
  • Heart Attacks
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Valvular Heart Disease
  • Aortic Aneurysms
  • Arrhythmia
  • Heart Infections
Many of these cardiac conditions can be misdiagnosed because symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue, anxiety, and dizziness can be attributed to other conditions.

Undiagnosed or Misdiagnosed Cardiac Condition Malpractice Lawsuits

Cardiac conditions have the potential to result in severe injury and complications that can affect a person's life in the long term and sometimes end it outright. The faster the treatment, the better the chance of a patient to make a recovery. If not caught, these conditions can cause massive damages to a patient in terms of disability, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages to name a few. All these damages and more are compensable if a doctor, radiology technician, nurse, or other healthcare provider's negligence caused your cardiac condition to go undiagnosed.

Seek an Experienced Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured because of the neglect of a healthcare provider, then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA about receiving a free consultation on your claim. Our skilled lawyers have the expertise you will need to secure the settlement that you deserve. Allow Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA to assist you in holding those liable for your injuries responsible while you recuperate. For a free consultation on your claim you can contact us online or call (727) 451-6900 Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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