What are my Rights after a Misdiagnosed Heart Attack?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 735,000 individuals suffer a heart attack each year in the United States. Whether minor or severe, heart attacks require immediate medical treatment to prevent complications or even death. Such treatments may include nitroglycerin, heparin, thrombolytic agents, or even aspirin. Additionally, when an individual has a heart attack, a cardiologist will know to look for clogged arteries or other dangerous signs of heart disease and perform any necessary surgeries.
Unfortunately, without the proper testing and thorough evaluation, heart attacks can often go undiagnosed or mistaken for other conditions, such as heartburn. In fact, one study estimated that 11,000 patients who suffer heart attacks are sent home with the wrong diagnosis and without the necessary treatment. Such a misdiagnosis can often be fatal, especially if an individual has serious heart disease. It may also put them at risk for a future subsequent heart attack or stroke. If a doctor fails to correctly diagnose a heart attack and a patient suffers unnecessary injury as a result, the patient may have the legal right to compensation due to medical malpractice.
Why are heart attacks often misdiagnosed?
Heart attacks are most commonly associated with chest pain as its most prominent symptom. Some heart attack victims also suffer shortness of breath and pain in the arm or shoulder. However, signs of a heart attack can vary widely from patient to patient. Women, in particular, do not always present all of the classic signs of a heart attack and are most often misdiagnosed.
Furthermore, if a patient does not have the major risk factors for a heart attack, a doctor may often fail to complete an electrocardiogram or other heart attack tests and may simply diagnose the chest discomfort as heartburn or indigestion. However, even a seemingly healthy, young, and active adult can suffer a heart attack due to family history of heart disease or other medical conditions. Overall, a doctor should examine all of the following in making a diagnosis:
- Signs and symptoms
- Test results
- Family and medical history
If they fail to do so and misdiagnose your heart attack, you may have a viable legal claim.
Qualified Sacramento Misdiagnosed Heart Attack Attorney
If you suffered preventable complications or conditions because a medical professional misdiagnosed your heart attack as heartburn, you should discuss your situation with a Sacramento misdiagnosed heart attack lawyer at the Teal Law Group today. Call 916-472-0003 to schedule a free consultation.