A misdiagnosed heart attack can result in a diminished quality of life, poorer chances to make a full recovery, and in tragic cases even death. It’s estimated that more than 11,000 heart attacks are misdiagnosed for other conditions each year in the United States today. For patients, any sign of chest pain is scary. While there can be a range of causes for chest pain from the innocuous to the life-threatening, it’s essential that those cases which are related to heart disease or acute cardiac events are treated immediately. Here’s a closer look at what happens in cases of cardiology malpractice and what you need to know.
Dealing with chest pain
Cardiologists estimate that between five and eight million people per year visit the ER for chest pain. Approximately 1.5 million are actually having a cardiac event – either a heart attack or stroke. Others are suffering from a wide range of maladies. Some are unpleasant but not harmful in any way, from indigestion to gas buildup. Others are suffering other more serious, but completely unrelated issues such as gallbladder attacks, lung problems, asthma, or even soft tissue problems with the chest’s muscles or nerves. Many of these other issues also require prompt and comprehensive treatment, so fast and accurate diagnosis is essential.
Why timing is essential
For the 1.5 million Americans suffering from a heart attack or stroke, timing is of the essence. Each day, more than 2200 people will die as a result of heart disease. That’s nearly 1 in 3 deaths. What happens in the first few minutes after a heart attack plays a critical role in a patient’s prognosis. The faster appropriate medical care is received, the more likely patients are to make a full recovery. Muscle death, pulmonary side effects, and other issues arise when there are delays between the cardiac event and the actual diagnosis. Time doctors spend trying to determine what happened is time that could be used administering life-saving treatments.
Misdiagnosis and cardiac events
A study released by Johns Hopkins found that diagnostic errors were the leading cause of malpractice suits in the US today. Heart issues were the second most commonly misdiagnosed issue. The results can be more extensive treatment needs, decreased quality of life, or in extreme cases even death. For patients who believe that misdiagnosis played a role in their cardiac event, timing is critical due to potential statutes of limitations on your case.
Contacting an experienced malpractice attorney can help you understand your options. During your initial meeting, the attorney will gather the facts of your case. If preliminary conversations point to possible malpractice, the attorney will obtain your permission to review medical records and work with the nation’s leading cardiologists and other medical experts to evaluate your case.
If you or a loved one has suffered a cardiac event and believes that misdiagnosis played a role, contact us today. Our experienced attorneys will arrange for a personalized consultation to discuss your case and understand if there is action that you can take in connection with your case. From securing financial support to cover treatment costs to preventing similar issues from occurring to other patients, pursuing a malpractice case for your misdiagnosed heart attack can have a major impact.