Misdiagnosis of a Heart Attack

Failure to Diagnose a Heart Attack

Over a million Americans suffer a myocardial infarction (commonly referred to as a “heart attack”) each year. About half of all heart attacks result in severe injury or death to the patient. Quick and proper treatment can often prevent fatality, so there is no room for mistake or negligence on the part of medical providers. Unfortunately, we have seen several cases in which emergency room doctors, cardiologists, or other physicians have ignored symptoms, ignored risk factors, failed to diagnose, misdiagnosed, and failed to properly treat or test, or have otherwise contributed to the injury or death of their patients.

Risk Factors and Coronary Heart Disease

In order to properly diagnose a patient with coronary heart disease, a doctor should be aware of the patient’s medical history. Common risk factors for coronary heart disease patients include:

  • 65 or older.
  • Male.
  • Family History of Coronary Heart Disease.
  • Smoker.
  • High Cholesterol.
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure).
  • Sedentary Lifestyle.
  • Obesity and Overweight.
  • Diabetes.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Stress.

The above list includes the risk factors identified by the American Heart Association. The more risk factors you have, the greater chance you may have a heart attack or stroke. A doctor should be aware of each patient’s medical history and identify which if any risk factors may apply. Many of these risk factors may be controlled or treated.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Common symptoms of a heart attack may include:

  • Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest or just below the breastbone.
  • Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the arm.
  • Radiating pain or discomfort in the jaw, back, throat, or arm.
  • Indigestion or feeling of heartburn.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Sweating or dizziness.
  • Anxiety or shortness of breath.
  • Irregular, increased, or rapid heartbeats.

Any of these symptoms or combination of these symptoms may indicate a patient is suffering from a heart attack. It is extremely important that a patient suffering a heart attack receive treatment as soon as possible. Generally speaking, treatment for a heart attack is most successful in administered in the first few hours following the first onset of symptoms. Physicians who fail to quickly and properly treat patients put their patients’ health and life at risk.

Doctors are trained to recognize the warning signs of a heart attack and to properly act in accordance with the health and safety of the patient. However, in some instances doctors fail to act properly in regards to the care of heart attack patients. If you or your loved one has been the victim of a doctor’s malpractice, don’t delay contacting us.

Medical Tests to Diagnose a Heart Attack

After symptoms are reported, doctors and emergency staff should administer the proper testing and treatment as soon as possible to avoid severe injury or death to their patients. The common tests for heart attacks include:

  • Electrocardiograms (ECG or commonly referred to as EKG).
  • Cardiac Enzyme Tests.
  • Coronary Artery Disease Tests.
  • Echocardiograms.
  • Stress Tests.
  • Angiograms.

If you or your loved one suffered a heart attack and the doctors failed to administer the proper testing resulting in injury or death, contact a Utah Medical Malpractice Attorney at Salcido Law Firm today.

Common Heart Attack Misdiagnoses

A doctor’s failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of a heart attack may occur if the symptoms are confused with another health condition. In our experience we have seen doctors misdiagnose a heart attack as:

  • Heart Burn
  • Anxiety Attack
  • Pneumonia
  • Gallstones
  • Bronchitis

Your Utah Medical Malpractice Lawyers

At Salcido Law Firm, our medical malpractice lawyers are experienced in handling the complex legal and medical issues involved in a failure to diagnose a heart attack case. We represent victims and their families in pursuing just compensation for the damages caused by a doctor’s failure to properly diagnose and/or treat a heart attack patient. We will act as your advocate against the medical providers and their insurance companies to see that your rights are protected and that you receive a fair settlement.

If you or someone you love has been injured or died as a result of the negligent medical care, call us today. Utah law imposes time limits on medical malpractice actions. Do not delay; contact us as soon as possible and Get Protected! Our attorneys are ready to take your call 24/7. Call anytime at 801.413.1753 or toll free at 888.337.3235. You may also email, Skype, or contact us through the form on the right.

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