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Attorneys at Law

Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack

Heart attacks and heart disease are frighteningly commonplace in the U.S.  In fact, someone suffers a heart attack every 20 seconds and every minute a fatal heart attack occurs. Today, almost 14 million Americans have a history of heart attack or angina (chest pain that occurs when the heart muscle fails to get the blood it needs to function properly).  Heart attacks and heart disease have long been the leading cause of death in the US.

While the signs and symptoms leading up to a heart attack can be similar to other medical problems doctors and health care providers should first check to determine if a heart attack is occurring. When doctors and other medical personnel can fail to properly diagnose and treat a heart attack, the result can be unnecessary medical complications or even death.

Immediate Treatment Can Quickly Diagnose a Heart Attack

Too often treatment is delayed due to a health care provider or doctor’s failure to diagnose a heart attack.  A simple blood test that checks for cardiac enzymes, called CK-MB fractions and troponin levels, can almost immediately diagnose a heart attack. This test allows a patient to get the timely treatment needed in order to reduce the severity and long-term damage a heart attack can bring.

Why Was the Heart Attack Not Diagnosed Immediately?

When a patient is first seen with symptoms that may indicate a heart attack, a  doctor or healthcare provider should follow the standards of proper medical care to first rule out that a serious event, such as a heart attack, is not occurring. These procedures might involve blood or other tests and EKG testing and monitoring. In most cases in which a heart attack is occurring, the doctor or health care provider will be able to quickly make a proper diagnosis.

Sadly, this is not always the case. In some instances a patient suffering from a heart attack may go to a hospital or other health care facility, see a doctor or other healthcare provider, and then be sent home, only to then suffer a severe heart attack.  In these cases, it’s important to understand why the heart attack (or the symptoms) was not diagnosed during the initial treatment so that a determination can be made as to whether the doctor or healthcare provider acted appropriately and in accordance with the standards of proper medical care.

Did Medical Negligence Occur?

To make a determination of medical negligence, in the case where a heart attack was not properly diagnosed, we need to first obtain the medical records and other information concerning the visit by the heart attack victim to the healthcare facility.

Once we have this information, we can then retain a doctor, nurse, or other medical expert if needed to review these records and information in order to make a determination as to whether the proper medical care standards were met.  If it appears that these standards were not met, and that damages resulted (such as further injury or death), we can bring a lawsuit for medical malpractice on behalf of our client and/or their family.

If you or a family member had a heart attack that was not properly diagnosed due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Call us so that we may schedule an appointment to learn about your case. We can explain the legal process and what must be proven in order to succeed in a medical malpractice case.

The initial consultation is free, and you are not under any obligation to use our firm. If we believe that medical negligence or malpractice has occurred, our firm will work hard to prove your case against those responsible and to obtain for you the proper damages to which you may be entitled.

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