Did A Physician Fail to Diagnose A Heart Attack?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that each year 720,000 people die from heart attacks, making heart attacks one of the main causes of death for both women and men in the United States. Some heart attacks occur without any warning signs, many heart attacks begin with mild discomfort. As a result, many people depend on physicians to accurately diagnose and treat heart attack.

Common Signs of Heart Attacks

Some of the most common warning signs of a heart attack include the following:

  • Lightheadedness or nausea
  • Pain or discomfort in the arm, back, chest, jaw, neck, or stomach
  • Profuse sweating
  • Shortness of breath

Diagnosis by Other Means

Physicians diagnose heart attacks by examining a patient’s physical condition, medical history, blood tests and electrocardiogram measurements. Some of the other tests that a doctor might use to determine whether a person has had a heart attack include:

  • Angiography
  • Catheters inserted into blood vessels
  • Chest x-rays
  • CT scans
  • Exercise stress tests
  • Injection of clot-dissolving agents
  • MRIs
  • Serum tests

How a Physician Might Fail to Diagnose a Heart Attack

Unfortunately, medical providers occasionally fail to diagnose a heart attack. In other cases, medical providers might mistake a potential heart attack as another, less dangerous condition. Some of the most common causes of misdiagnosed heart attacks include the following:

  • Asymptomatic Conditions: In these situations, a patient lacks any of the symptoms commonly associated with heart attacks.
  • Gender: Women are at greater risk of men than being misdiagnosed if they have a heart attack.
  • Mild symptoms: Not all patients experience severe medical conditions prior to heart attacks. Instead, some people only report mild discomfort. Physicians, however, are more likely to dismiss a heart attack when a person only experiences mild symptoms.
  • Nontraditional heart attack profile: Patients who might appear healthy are at risk of being misdiagnose if they have a heart attack.
  • Similarity to other conditions: Many symptoms associated with heart attacks also arise in other medical conditions. As a result, medical providers sometimes mistakenly diagnose an anxiety attack or angina rather than a heart attack.

Talk to a Seasoned Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you or a loved one has been harmed as the result of a physician’s failure to diagnose your medical condition, it is likely that you will be able to obtain compensation for your injuries. The legal counsel at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan has experience necessary to make sure that your case resolves in the best possible manner. Contact our law office today for assistance.

Our Medical Malpractice trial lawyers assist clients throughout all of Massachusetts including, but not limited to, those in the following counties, cities and towns: Plymouth County, Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Holbrook, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Westport, Dartmouth, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Lakeville, Norton; Cape Cod, Hyannis, Falmouth, Barnstable and the Greater Boston area including Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn, Revere, Dorchester, Roxbury.