Miami Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack Malpractice Lawyer
720,000 – that is the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) estimate of the number of people that have a heart attack each year in the United States. In fact, heart disease is the number one cause of death not only for both men and women in the United States, but also for most ethnicities. A heart attack may be the first sign of heart disease.
Approximately 15 percent of the people who have a heart attack each year will die. But heart attacks are not always fatal. The reality is that thousands of people will survive their heart attack and return to enjoying their normal lives.
Common Heart Attack Symptoms
While some heart attacks can be sudden and involve sharp pain, most will begin slowly with only mild discomfort. The most common warning signs indicating a heart attack is happening include:
- Pain or discomfort in the chest
- Pain or discomfort in other parts of the upper body, particularly the arms, back, neck, jaw, and/or stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Feelings of nausea and/or lightheadedness
- Profuse sweating
How Might a Doctor Fail to Diagnose a Heart Attack?
Doctors can diagnose heart attacks by assessing a patient’s medical history, along with completing a physical examination, blood testing, and/or performing an electrocardiogram (commonly referred to as an “EKG”) to record the electrical activity of the heart.
Unfortunately, sometimes doctors fail to diagnose a heart attack. The doctor may simply fail to act on the symptoms or diagnose the heart attack as something else, such as heartburn or indigestion. Studies have even shown that doctors misdiagnose heart attacks in women more often than men.
Some of the more common reasons heart attacks are misdiagnosed are:
- Patient’s symptoms are mild – not every patient will experience the same symptoms. Some may not experience any chest pain, for example. A doctor may be more likely to dismiss a heart attack as the “culprit” for a patient who suffers only mild symptoms, such as nausea and stomach pain.
- Patient’s symptoms are similar to another medical condition – Many of the symptoms for a heart attack are also the symptoms of different medical conditions. Chest pain and nausea could be angina. Chest pain, shortness of breath and sweating are common symptoms of an anxiety attack.
- Patient doesn’t fit the “typical” heart attack profile – Young patients, especially females, and patients who appear healthy may be misdiagnosed by doctors.
- Gender – women are more likely to have their symptoms improperly diagnosed as anxiety (see above for symptoms), meaning they are also less likely to receive treatment for their symptoms.
- Patient is asymptomatic – in other words, the patient has none of the typical heart attack symptoms. In some instances, doctors make a misdiagnosis even after a review of a diagnostic test indicates the occurrence of the heart attack.
Choose an Experienced Miami Malpractice Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a medical professional’s failure to diagnose a heart attack, you may be entitled to compensation. The lawyers at Pita Weber Del Prado have the experience and skill required to aggressively investigate and prosecute your malpractice claim. Call us today at (305) 670-8060 to begin discussion of your legal rights with a free consultation.