PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE A HEART ATTACK
Heart Attack Malpractice: Medical Malpractice is frequently the cause of undiagnosed heart attacks. Although the symptoms of a heart attack are well-known, including chest discomfort, pain in the left shoulder and jaw, neck pain and shortness of breath, lightheadedness, cold sweats, and nausea…
Each minute that therapy is delayed, heart muscle might perish. Undiagnosed heart attacks are fatal in the majority of cases.
Heart attack risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
A heart attack that is not correctly diagnosed is often confused with:
- acid reflux;
- Panic attacks
- Pulled muscle
- Fragmented ribs
Emergency room physicians are frequently called upon to address a variety of medical issues in high-stress, time-sensitive situations. These physicians must be capable of rapidly diagnosing and treating potentially lethal conditions. Unfortunately, emergency department physicians are frequently unable to accurately identify heart attacks.
Each year, cardiovascular illnesses are the leading cause of mortality in America. It claims the lives of almost 600,000 Americans each year. It accounts for 25% of all deaths in the country. Each year, around 730,000 Americans suffer from heart attacks. The majority of these heart attacks are caused by cardiovascular disease. Americans who are overweight and have high cholesterol are at an increased risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack.
Each year, the United States suffers around 1.5 million heart attacks. According to studies, around 11,000 occurrences of reported heart attack fatalities were misdiagnosed, resulting in avoidable deaths. In some instances, medical malpractice may be to blame for the delayed or missing diagnosis of heart attacks.
Heart disease is a broad term that encompasses a variety of different heart disorders, including angina, arrhythmias, heart failure, and coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease is the most often occurring disorder related to heart attacks.
It is no secret that heart attacks are the top cause of death in America. It is the state of Tennessee's second-biggest cause of death. It is frequently curable if detected early and is a prevalent condition in a large number of people.
Chest discomfort, neck and back pain, jaw pain, nausea, shortness of breath, and cold chills are all symptoms that medical practitioners must be aware of. A physician's failure to notice a heart attack may be deemed malpractice.
Medical malpractice lawsuits sometimes feature allegations involving a physician's negligent inability to identify a heart attack promptly and accurately.
SYMPTOMS OF A HEART ATTACK (MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION):
Myocardial Infarction (or heart attack) occurs when a section of the heart muscle dies from lack of blood flow. Chest discomfort is caused by the demise of the heart muscle. Each year, over 800,000 Americans have a heart attack.
Sometimes, the signs of a heart attack are not immediately apparent. These subtly manifested symptoms include nausea, dizziness, and chilly chills… These symptoms may be subtle and are associated with a range of disorders. Heart attacks frequently result in chest discomfort and loss of breath, and some suffer from back or arm pain as well. Never should a medical practitioner disregard these warning indications.
In certain instances, the EKG or blood tests may have been analysed incorrectly. Cardiologists are specialists in heart disease and heart attacks, and as a result, they do not make the same diagnostic errors as emergency room physicians or family physicians when it comes to detecting symptoms. It is critical to consult a cardiologist immediately.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEART COMPLICATIONS:
Heart attacks occur when blood is unable to reach the necessary areas of the heart—every second counts during a heart attack. Your heart muscle will perish as the heart attack continues. The following are the indications and symptoms of cardiac arrest:
- Chest pain
- Shoulder pain
- Jaw pain
- Neck pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Cold sweats
Cardiovascular illness can manifest itself in the form of a heart attack or congestive heart failure. It is a condition that is brought on by high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, elevated cholesterol, and diabetes.
CARDIAC ARRESTS AND RELATED ILLNESSES:
Cardiovascular disease is the primary cause of mortality in the United States, affecting people of all ages and genders. This condition is caused by restricted circulation caused by fat deposition in the arteries. Without an open heart, blood cannot flow freely to the heart. This implies that oxygen and nourishment cannot enter the body of a person.
Each year, over half of the people who have a cardiac arrest in the United States die as a result of it. Cardiac arrest is treated by removing obstructions in the arteries. It improves blood flow and reduces the risk of another cardiac arrest. The method known as thrombolytic therapy is effective in treating cardiac arrest because it aids in the breakdown of clots. Other procedures, such as angioplasty or coronary bypass graft surgery, can also be used to treat cardiac arrest.
These choices must be delivered promptly, often within an hour after the onset of cardiac arrest. According to a study, one in every fifty cases of cardiac arrest goes misdiagnosed.
REASON BEHIND HEART ATTACK VICTIMS BEING UNABLE TO RECEIVE A TIMELY OR NEGLIGENT DIAGNOSIS:
A substantial risk factor is the absence of symptoms consistent with heart attacks. Female patients are more frequently misdiagnosed with heart attacks than male patients, according to research. This might be because women exhibit distinctive symptoms that are distinct from those experienced by males. Among these symptoms are the following:
- Trouble sleeping
- Breathing difficulties
- Pain in the back
- Nausea and vomiting
- It's not possible to feel pain when it doesn't radiate
- Arms are heavy
- Epigastric burning
- Feeling flushed
These symptoms are distinct from those experienced by males, which include headaches, chest and jaw discomfort, shoulder, arm, and neck pain, and pain between the shoulder blades.
Female heart attack sufferers may be misdiagnosed with psychological, emotional, or musculoskeletal problems, anxiety, or dyspepsia. Women may miss out on life-saving treatment options such as emergency cardiology consultations, nitroglycerin or heparin, and thrombolytic medicines. Rather than that, patients may be provided anti-anxiety medications.
Additionally, research indicates that non-whites are more likely to be misdiagnosed or have a delayed diagnosis of heart attacks.
 This might be explained in part by the fact that a disproportionate number of non-white heart attack patients are younger. According to one study, heart attack patients of African ancestry were nearly ten years older than white patients. Medical practitioners, regardless of race, may be unaware of a heart attack in a younger individual.
Seniors who have suffered a heart attack may also be at risk of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. In some cases, elderly people may have atypical symptoms. Numerous people with chronic illnesses may also be present.
Even if an ER doctor or another medical expert suspects a patient is having a heart attack, irresponsible diagnostic testing might hinder a quick diagnosis.
RESULT OF MISDIAGNOSIS OF A HEART ATTACK:
Failure to provide a timely and correct diagnosis to a patient might have serious repercussions. Heart attack diagnoses that are delayed or ignored might result in poor medical results, including death. According to research, the chance of dying from a heart attack nearly doubles if it is not identified correctly.
Patients who are not diagnosed with a heart attack or are detected late frequently face greater problems than those who are diagnosed appropriately. Nearly three-quarters of heart attack patients were readmitted following a misdiagnosis, according to research.
However, the percentage of patients who received an accurate diagnosis and were hospitalised for treatment was just 17%.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED “MALPRACTICE” WHEN A HEART ATTACK PATIENT IS NOT DIAGNOSED?
Health care practitioners must research and conduct due diligence when it comes to heart attacks. In general, doctors in emergency departments can be sued for failing to maintain an acceptable level of care, which includes running tests to identify whether a heart attack happened and inquiring about the patient's family history and any pre-existing cardiac issues. A physician who fails to order an electrocardiogram (ECG) or electrocardiogram (EKG) to establish if a patient's heart is functioning normally is one of the most serious potential sources of malpractice.
If a doctor or medical team makes an incorrect diagnosis of a heart attack, they may be held liable for malpractice. To assess if the misdiagnosis was caused by malpractice, you must examine the doctor's records and exam findings. A simple review of medical records may identify typical heart attack symptoms. However, the documents must include typical evident indicators of a heart attack, as well as any family history of heart disease. It should include a review of whether all necessary tests were performed correctly if the doctor asked the appropriate questions and evaluated the patient thoroughly, as well as a review of any past heart attacks at other medical institutions. These are only a few of the many factors to examine when deciding whether a medical practitioner acted negligently.
Patients who are unaware of the significance of the irregularities may be sent home with a vague explanation for their dyspepsia. A victim of a heart attack may suffer several severe or moderate attacks over the next few hours or days, resulting in long-term or even permanent damage.
DEATH DUE TO FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE A HEART ATTACK:
Symptoms indicative of cardiac arrest may appear gradually before the arteries become stopped and the patient is admitted to the hospital. Medical experts have a responsibility to conduct tests on hospitalised patients to ascertain if they had a cardiac arrest. Occasionally, physicians overlook warning signals or may not spend enough time with patients to discover symptoms. It can result in serious injuries or even death.
If a patient has experienced a heart attack, they may file a malpractice claim against the medical practitioner. An emergency department physician failed to accurately identify it in a timely manner.
Tucker & Miller, a Phoenix, Arizona legal practise, offers a no-cost consultation to evaluate your case. You pay nothing unless and until we obtain compensation—Call 602-870-5511 to make an appointment.
Our attorneys, among others, handle the following sorts of medical negligence cases:
- Emergency room errors
- Stent failures and other surgical errors
- Misdiagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases
- Inadequate testing to diagnose heart attacks or other conditions indicates that you are not ordering the proper tests.
Patients who have chest pains or other heart attack-related symptoms will seek care in an emergency hospital. Patients experiencing atypical symptoms following a heart attack may also attend the emergency room. They may be unaware that they have a heart condition.
Numerous clinicians in the emergency room may make an error and fail to detect a cardiac arrest early. Among these health care professions are the following:
- Emergency room physicians
- Triage nurses
- Consult cardiologists
- Medical students and interns
- Consulting physicians
According to studies, smaller emergency facilities may misdiagnose heart attacks more frequently than larger emergency rooms, which might be because smaller emergency rooms have less expertise detecting heart attacks and are hence more likely to diagnose them correctly.
Medical practitioners working in settings other than the emergency room may potentially make a negligent diagnosis. Other health care workers may also be at fault for heart attack misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.
SHOULD AN EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR BE ABLE TO DIAGNOSE HEART ATTACKS?
Many emergency department physicians are financially pressed to see a large number of patients, and hence cannot spend enough time with each to diagnose heart attacks. A patient may have discomfort after elevating his arm over his head during a tennis match. The discomfort may be indicative of a shoulder injury or heart attack, but the emergency department physician may be unaware of the patient's medical history.
Medical malpractice cases can be brought against emergency rooms for failing to order the necessary testing to detect heart attacks or other life-threatening diseases.
HOW TO DETERMINE IF MY CASE WAS MISDIAGNOSED OR DELAYED?
Patients and their families would almost certainly have several worries and inquiries if a heart attack is not detected or is misdiagnosed. It's natural to ask whether medical practitioners could have noticed the heart attack sooner and thereby saved or enhanced the patient's life or heart health. It would be prudent to obtain a second opinion from another specialised physician and have the tests repeated to validate your suspicions.
Tucker Miller Law- Phoenix Medical Malpractice Attorneys
1440 East Missouri Avenue # 150Phoenix, AZ 85014
Phone #(602) 870-5511
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 Virani SS, Alonso A, Benjamin EJ, Bittencourt MS, Callaway CW, Carson AP, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2020 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2020;141(9):e139–e596.
 Fryar CD, Chen T-C, Li X. Prevalence of uncontrolled risk factors for cardiovascular disease: United States, 1999–2010 pdf icon[PDF-494K]. NCHS data brief, no. 103. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics; 2012.
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