Failure to Diagnose and Misdiagnosis of Heart Attacks
One of the most common forms of medical malpractice that affects patients in the United State’s healthcare system is misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. Despite the grueling education and training that doctors receive, they still are human beings and are more than capable of making mistakes that can end up hurting their patients. Misdiagnosis is when a doctor mistakes one medical condition for another and failure to diagnose just that, a failure to realize that a patient has a potentially harmful medical condition. Many harmful medical conditions can be medically misdiagnosed yet one of the most harmful is the heart attack and other heart conditions.
Medical Malpractice and Heart Attack Misdiagnosis
This misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose heart attacks and other heart conditions fall under what is known as medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other healthcare professional violates the standard of care with their negligence and causes injury to a patient in their care. Patients that suffer because of medical negligence have the right to seek compensation for their injuries through a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit.
Components of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
In order to successfully file a medical malpractice claim, a plaintiff must ensure that several criteria are satisfied. First of all their needs to be an injury and damages that require compensation. In the case of heart attacks that are misdiagnosed, this criterion is usually satisfied automatically. Then, there must be some kind of negligence on the healthcare professional’s part. For example, they would have to neglect to order a blood test that would have helped properly diagnose a heart issue or maybe fail to look at a patient’s medical history thoroughly as a form of negligence.
Another criterion is that the doctor or another type of medical professional would have to violate the standard of care with their negligence. Standard of care is the expected level of professional service that a healthcare professional provides to their patients as determined by comparison to their peers average level of care. It is important to note that not all doctors are held up to the same standards of care. A rural general practitioner is not held up to the same standard of care as a neurosurgeon in a top hospital.
How are Heart Attacks Misdiagnosed
Heart attacks are absolutely able to be diagnosed or anticipated in certain situations. Doctors that follow proper procedure are capable of making sure that their patients do not suffer injuries because of failure to diagnose a heart attack. Even in the event that a patient suffers an unforeseeable heart attack, prompt and correct treatment by a skilled physician can prevent death and permanent injuries. Healthcare professionals should usually be able to anticipate a heart attack occurring by reviewing a patient’s history for obvious warning signs, conducting a thorough physical exam of the patient, and making sure the proper tests on the patient are done. These tests will typically include, electrocardiogram testing (ECG or EKG) and blood tests for certain enzymes.
Symptoms of a Heart Attack
A heart attack or myocardial infarction as it is also known is a sudden and sometimes fatal occurrence of coronary thrombosis, typically resulting in the death of part of a heart muscle. In layman terms, it’s when a blood vessel in your heart gets blocked and your circulatory system suffers as a result. The common symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Pain or discomfort in any other area of the upper body, including the shoulder, arm, back, jaw or stomach
- Heightened anxiety or feeling of impending doom
- Nausea or vomiting
Conditions Heart Attacks are Commonly Misdiagnosed as
- Acid reflux
- Musculoskeletal pain
- Anxiety attack
Injuries and Damages Caused by Heart Attack Misdiagnosis
When someone suffers a heart attack they are at immense risk of suffering permanent damage and even death if they do not receive prompt medical attention from a skilled physician. There are many cases where people survive heart attacks but suffer permanent damage because of some act of negligence on their physician’s or other healthcare professional’s part. In the event that this occurs, a heart attack survivor’s heart will likely be severely injured and cause them lifelong pain and disability.
When a heart attack occurs, the muscles in a person’s heart can die which weakens the heart and its ability to pump blood effectively and steadily through the body. A person will likely not be able to engage in strenuous activity and have to live with a constant fear of further heart complications should they suffer this heart damage. Permanent damages of a misdiagnosed heart attack can include the extensive medical bills that follow. These bills will consist of things like treatment costs, medications, physical therapy, hospital recovery, and return checkups. A person could also miss out on a lot of lost wages and may even be unable to continue working their job. Also, there is a lot of pain and suffering that comes with these kinds of injury as well.
Seek an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice cases can be tricky. Health care providers pay large amounts of money every year toward their malpractice insurance, and they have powerful insurance companies and lawyers on their side. These insurance companies go to great lengths to defend medical malpractice cases. You should have an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side.
Dolman Law Group has years of experience when it comes to ensuring that clients do not get taken advantage of by insurance companies and providing top tier legal representation that recovers much-needed compensation for injured plaintiffs. When Dolman Law Group represents you we provide the personal attention to your one expects from smaller firms while delivering big firm results.
If you suspect that you sustained injuries and damages as a result of a health care provider’s negligence, the medical malpractice lawyers at Dolman Law Group may be able to help.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765