About 600,000 people in the US die of a heart attack every year. Citizens are advised to educate themselves about the symptoms of an attack to seek prompt medical help. Medical professionals go through extensive training to understand these symptoms and treat them promptly before they cause death. However, they are not always successful.
It is well-established that a heart attack can present itself in various ways, including chest pain, left arm pain, shortness of breath, etc. The risk of misdiagnosis is higher in heart attacks, which is why medical professionals should take additional steps to investigate. If you or your loved one was a victim of doctor negligence, consult with an Atlanta Medical malpractice attorney today.
Why are the symptoms of a heart attack often overlooked?
The most common symptoms of a heart attack are shortness of breath, chest pain, and arm or back pain. However, these are only the severe symptoms. Some people experience more mild symptoms, including nausea, cold sweats, or dizziness. Therefore, when a patient does not show the common or classic symptoms of a heart attack, it is possible for doctors to attribute them to another medical condition and misdiagnose them.
The problem with misdiagnosis is more prevalent in women than in men. It is commonly seen in doctors to dismiss a female patient’s symptoms by calling it anxiety. Not testing the patient properly and conducting basic exams like an ECG should result in a negligence lawsuit.
Ignoring or not providing testing is negligent.
If your doctor does not provide these tests or ignores your concerns, they will be legally liable if you get injured later due to a failure of diagnosis of a heart disease. Sadly, the rate at which doctors are failing to test for heart attacks and diagnose them correctly is getting higher as each day passes. This is extremely concerning since one of the best treatments is early detection.
Who could be responsible for a misdiagnosis of a heart attack?
When you go into a hospital to check for a heart attack or for a diagnosis of your symptoms, there are various medical professionals who may be involved in your care. Some of those health providers include:
- Emergency room physicians
- Consulting cardiologists
- Triage nurses
- Interns and medical students
- Consulting physicians
Studies have shown that hospitals and ERs with a lower patient volume are more likely to make these errors than ERs with many frequent patients. The reason may be that the former hospital’s staff has less experience than the latter.
If you were a victim of medical malpractice, hire an attorney today.