Heart disease is a serious and, unfortunately, prevalent disease in our country. As many of us know, the failure to diagnose a heart attack could have fatal consequences. A heart attack comes with several warning signs that a doctor should be able to detect, and it is a very treatable condition. Therefore, if you or a loved one suffered an untreated heart attack because of a missed diagnosis, there is a strong chance that you can have a case. Below are some of the top reasons for misdiagnosis.
Lack of Urgency
Severe tissue damage occurs in a heart attack, which is why so many cases end in death. An artery blockage leads to oxygen starvation to other parts of the heart, which quickly starts to kill parts of that muscle, resulting in heart failure. For this reason, a heart attack needs to be treated in a timely manner. A doctor should never downplay or disregard a patient’s concerns that they may have a heart attack. But because a heart attack is more common in patients aged 50 and over, younger patients who experience heart attack symptoms are less likely to be regarded for further testing.
With the variety of symptoms that may come with a heart attack, it is up to the doctor to be able to look for and recognize the signs. This includes ordering the proper tests for diagnosis, such as a physical exam, electrocardiogram (ECG), blood test, and a coronary angiography x-ray. All doctors will listen to your heart and check your blood pressure for abnormalities, but if the testing does not go beyond this basic level, it could be a sign of medical malpractice.
Different Symptoms in Women
It is all too common for a doctor to form an incorrect diagnosis because they are looking for the wrong symptoms, especially in women. This leads to a statistically higher death rate of female heart attack cases. Often, a heart attack will manifest itself much differently in women than in men. The distribution of plaque in a woman’s arteries tends to be more even and appear normal, even if at an unhealthy level. Also, women are less likely to experience chest pain, one of the most obvious signs of a heart attack, which further increases the chances of a missed diagnosis.
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