Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack Attorney

Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack Attorney

Providing medical care requires providers to follow accepted standards of their profession, including accurately diagnosing heart disease and providing appropriate treatment to patients who display signs and symptoms.

The United States has a high mortality rate from heart attacks. These attacks can be treated if they are caught early. An unrecognized heart attack may amount to malpractice, and you may need a failure to diagnose a heart attack lawyer in Tulsa. Medical professionals may be liable for injuries or losses resulting from failure to diagnose heart disease or heart attacks.

When You Need a Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack Attorney

A victim of medical malpractice may be able to file a claim if a health care professional fails to diagnose a heart attack.

An example of medical malpractice is when a physician conducts himself in a manner that falls below the accepted standard of care and results in harm or death for a patient.

A plaintiff must establish medical malpractice by showing that the medical professional owed the plaintiff a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused the victim direct harm as a result of the breach. As an expert witness, a cardiologist will generally help establish the elements of a claim.

Plaintiffs can seek justice and compensation for their injuries once negligence has been established. According to law, a plaintiff can typically recover past and future medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost earnings, disability, and other economic damages, depending on the specific facts of the case.

A plaintiff’s compensation for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, is limited. This cap, however, is increased every year. The statute of limitations requires medical malpractice claims to be filed within a specific timeframe.

What You Need to Win a Heart Attack Medical Malpractice Case

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor fails to diagnose a heart attack because of negligent medical care or failure to follow accepted standards of care.

Using a civil lawsuit, a patient must show four elements to prove that their doctor misdiagnosed or mismanaged their heart attack. These include:

  • An existing doctor-patient relationship
  • Whether the doctor was negligent or did not provide a reasonable level of care
  • A doctor’s negligence caused the patient to be injured, harmed, or die
  • A misdiagnosis caused significant harm to the patient

If a heart attack attorney determines that a patient likely has a case, they will gather the necessary documentation to prove it. It is also important to evaluate the patient’s previous medical records and history.

Liability of Doctors in Failure to Diagnose a Heart Attack

The answer is yes. If doctors fail to diagnose heart conditions, they can be held legally responsible for the damages resulting from their failure to diagnose.

Civil medical malpractice claims can be filed by victims of preventable errors and injuries, but these cases are complex, requiring a meticulous examination of the unique facts involved. The law also requires victims to prove medical providers violated their duty of care.

Studies published by BMJ Journals indicate misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis are the most common claims asserted in medical malpractice lawsuits. In addition, a heart attack is the most frequently misdiagnosed adverse event among adults, other than cancer.

The Signs of a Heart Attack

Some heart attacks occur suddenly and without warning. The majority, however, begin gradually with mild symptoms. Often times people don’t realize they are having a heart attack and wait too long to seek medical treatment.

Signs that a heart attack might be on the way are:

  • Discomfort in the chest, abdomen, neck, back, arm, wrist, or jaw with or without exertion
  • Anxiety, a feeling of impending doom
  • An arm, jaw, back, or shoulder may become painful or uncomfortable when the pain or discomfort begins in the left or central chest
  • The pain usually doesn’t feel sharp or localized
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, excessive sweating, nausea, vomiting, or lightheadedness
  • A movement of the muscles in the area where the discomfort
  • Nausea and chest pain higher in the abdomen or chest are more common in women before a heart attack than in men
  • Extreme fatigue following physical activity is their first symptom rather than chest pain
Common Heart Attack Medical Errors

Depending on the circumstances, the treatment received may constitute malpractice. The standard of care for the situation is alleged to be violated in medical malpractice cases, and failure to diagnose claims in particular.

A “duty of care” or “standard of care” can vary from case to case, but may include the following:

  • Overlook heart disease or cardiovascular conditions in patients who don’t fit the typical profile of heart disease victims, or underestimate the risk of heart disease with known risk factors
  • Not recognizing warning signs of heart disease, heart attacks, or any other serious cardiac condition, and not acting accordingly
  • A failure to order or perform the appropriate tests or interpret results appropriately, including tests
  • Not properly evaluating, evaluating, or screening a patient’s medical history
  • Medical notes that do not adequately describe risk factors, patient complaints, findings, or potential problems
  • Failure to communicate properly with other providers involved in their care about a patient’s condition or potential risk factors
  • The misdiagnosis of heart attacks or heart disease as a less serious medical condition or failure to thoroughly rule out other conditions

The Graves McLain Law Firm provides free and confidential consultations to clients to help them determine whether medical providers failed to act appropriately when providing screenings or treatments for cardiovascular-related complications.

The Different Stages of a Heart Attack

Heart failure has four stages-stages A, B, C, and D-from high-risk to advanced, depending on the risk factor.

1. Stage A

Describes the pre-heart failure stage. Heart failure is a serious medical condition for which some people are at high risk due to family history or medical conditions such as those listed below:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Cardiomyopathy in the family
  • Rheumatoid history
  • Alcoholism in the family
  • Previous history of taking heart-damaging drugs, such as some cancer drugs
2. Stage B

This stage is referred to as silent or asymptomatic heart failure. Having systolic left ventricular dysfunction without experiencing symptoms of heart failure means a problem has been detected.

Echocardiograms of people with stage B heart failure show an ejection fraction (EF) of 40% or less. Heart failure patients with reduced EF resulting from any cause are included in this category.

3. Stage C

Stage C heart failure patients have been diagnosed with heart failure and have current or previous symptoms of heart failure.

There is a wide range of symptoms related to heart failure. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to exercise
  • Foot, ankle, lower leg, and abdomen swelling
4. Stage D

The symptoms of Stage D patients do not improve with treatment. Stage D heart failure is the final stage of the illness. NYHA class three to four symptoms are likely to appear, which means they show symptoms with little or no exertion or at rest.

Recoverable Damages in a Heart Attack Medical Malpractice Case

Compensation can be claimed by victims of medical negligence for both economic and non-economic damages. For example:

  • Bodily pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses in the future
  • Emotional trauma (such as mental pain)
  • Financial loss
  • Hardship a victim’s family endures

We work closely with experts to calculate damages and help clients assess the value of their cases. They consider both the economic loss (including future expenses that may be incurred) and the emotional suffering that accompanies life-changing injuries or death.

Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack Statistics to Know

Managing heart problems early is crucial to reducing these numbers. The use of modern technology, such as angiograms, blood tests, electrocardiograms, and scans, allows people with heart disease to be detected early. Unfortunately, this rarely occurs.

Here are some recent statistics:

  • In one-third of cases, the wrong diagnosis is given to the patient with a heart attack.
  • Heart failure is missed by two-thirds of doctors and is only diagnosed when it requires hospitalization.
  • According to a Harvard study, doctors miss heart attack signs in women 50% of the time. Symptoms are instead misdiagnosed as acid reflux or something else less serious.
  • There are 45% of heart attacks that are silent, meaning symptoms do not resemble a classic heart attack.
  • Most racial and ethnic groups die from heart disease. Black people accounted for 23.5% of deaths in 2015, while white people accounted for 23.7%.
  • Fewer men die of heart disease each year than women do. A heart attack kills 26 percent more women than men within a year, according to the American Heart Association.
Call a Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack Attorney Today

For the families of loved ones who have been diagnosed with heart disease but were misdiagnosed, Graves McLain works with cardiology experts and others in related fields.

Many of our cases have involved failure to diagnose and/or treat heart disease. For a free case evaluation, please contact us. We represent clients across the globe.

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