Misdiagnosis of a Heart Attack in Atlanta, Georgia
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone in the United States suffers from a heart attack about once every 40 seconds. Every year this leads to around 805,000 heart attacks throughout the nation. Heart disease is a leading cause of death for men and women in America. When it comes to treating a heart attack, prompt intervention is vital. Sadly, in some cases, doctors fail to properly diagnose a patient suffering from a heart attack. The result of such a serious error can, in some cases, lead to fatalities. If you or a loved one suffered injuries because a doctor failed to diagnose your heart attack or other severe life-threatening condition, you might have a legal claim against that physician or medical facility. It is important to speak to an attorney to learn your rights and your options for pursuing a claim. Call The Moses Firm today at 404-721-1050 to speak to a dedicated and experienced Atlanta, Georgia, medical malpractice attorney.
Identifying a Heart Attack; Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of a heart attack can vary between men and women. Some common symptoms that affect individuals suffering from heart attacks include nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, and pain in the jaw, neck, or back. For men, squeezing chest pain and pressure is a frequent symptom of a heart attack. In women, chest pain does occur, but not always, sometimes leading to more difficulty in diagnosing this condition. Women are more inclined to suffer some additional symptoms, including fainting, extreme fatigue, and indigestion. The pain and pressure that women sometimes feel will appear in the lower chest, upper abdomen, and upper back.
Diagnosing a heart attack can be complicated because numerous conditions can mimic the symptoms of a heart attack. One of the most common is heartburn, which is caused by acid reflux. Heartburn can also cause serious medical conditions if it is not treated properly. Some of the symptoms can include a burning sensation that takes place behind a breastbone.
Another common condition that sometimes can be confused with heart attacks is a muscle strain caused by physical activity. Many patients who believe they are suffering from heart trouble are diagnosed with costochondritis, which is caused by inflammation between the rib bone and cartilage. Sometimes viral infections or injuries can lead to this condition, which causes pressure on the chest wall and tenderness. Shingles can also be confused with heart conditions. This misunderstanding is because the itching and burning caused by shingles sometimes occur on a person’s chest, suggesting that their heart is the cause of those symptoms.
Misdiagnosis of Heart Attacks in Atlanta, Georgia
When a patient suffering from symptoms that may indicate a heart attack arrives in an emergency room, a doctor may believe that the individual is suffering from a much less severe condition such as indigestion or heartburn. However, assuming that the patient has one of these lesser medical conditions could be a form of medical malpractice. The doctor should look at the person’s risk factors for heart attacks, including whether they are a smoker, use alcohol, drugs, have previous heart conditions, or a family history of heart disease. Doctors should examine all of the symptoms and investigate the patient’s condition using diagnostic and therapeutic tools. For example, early diagnosis can be made through the use of blood tests, EKG’s, cardiac catheterization, echocardiogram, stress tests, and CT scans. When it comes to a possible heart attack, the risks are too high for a doctor to assume that the condition is less serious. A misdiagnosis can cause severe injuries and, in some cases, fatalities, as well as costly medical procedures that might otherwise have been avoided. Some medications can help reduce the consequences of a heart attack. If such medications are not administered, further permanent damage can be caused to the person’s heart.
If you or a loved one suffered from a heart attack that a doctor failed to diagnose, contact an Atlanta, Georgia medical malpractice attorney.
Call the Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorneys at The Moses Firm Today
The Moses Firm understands how serious injuries caused by misdiagnosed heart attacks can be for a patient and that the consequences can also negatively impact that individual’s family. Call us today at 404-721-1050 to speak to a dedicated Atlanta, Georgia medical malpractice lawyer.