According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart attacks and related heart diseases are the primary cause of death for Americans. Timely diagnosis is especially vital in heart attack cases to limit harm to the victim, since the longer a person goes untreated, the more permanent damage may occur due to oxygen deprivation in the heart. Unfortunately, like any other human, doctors may make a mistake and misdiagnose a heart attack. Such a misdiagnosis can cause brain damage, other permanent disabilities, and death for victims. If you or a family member has unnecessarily suffered due to a heart attack misdiagnosis, an experienced medical malpractice attorney at The Levin Firm can help you hold the doctor liable for his or her negligent actions.
Common Reasons For Heart Attack Misdiagnosis
Research shows that approximately 1 in 50 victims of heart attacks are misdiagnosed and often sent home without the necessary treatment. There are several different reasons why doctors may misdiagnose a heart attack, including the following:
- A patient only has very mild symptoms, such as nausea or a general feeling that something is not right.
- Symptoms may be similar to other medical conditions, such as heartburn, other gastrointestinal disorders, anxiety attacks, or others.
- No previous diagnosis of heart disease, high cholesterol or blood pressure, diabetes, or other high-risk conditions.
- The victim is younger, female, or in seemingly good health, and thus does not fit the usual heart attack victim profile.
- An EKG came back normal and so the emergency room doctors ruled out a heart attack as a possible diagnosis without completing further tests.
When someone has a medical emergency, they should be able to expect that a hospital will provide the proper care and treatment that they need. If you or a loved one has suffered permanent damage or death due to a misdiagnosed heart attack, you deserve to be properly compensated.