Heart attacks and heart disease are the leading cause of fatalities in this country, with about 2,500 people, on average, dying of these problems every day. Even though this problem is so common, it is also often misdiagnosed, which increases fatalities. If you have gone to the emergency room or doctor with chest pains or other symptoms of heart disease, misdiagnosis can prove fatal.
If you have suffered injury or have lost a loved one due to heart attack misdiagnosis in Hollywood or South Florida, contact Flaxman Law Group. You may have a legal claim that lets you seek compensation for the losses and damages you have suffered. You deserve answers and we can offer a consultation so that you can ask questions.
Why Does Heart Attack Misdiagnosis Happen in Hollywood and Florida?
One of the main reasons why heart attacks are so often misdiagnosed is because the symptoms of a heart attack can often look like something else. The most common symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Chest pains or pain that radiates into the jaw, back, neck, and arms
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- Feelings of anxiety or dread
Unfortunately, some of the symptoms are vague and can vary from person to person. For example, about one third of heart attack patients don’t experience the classic chest pain. They may simply feel nauseous and may be diagnosed with indigestion and sent home. If they are having a heart attack, they may not survive without immediate life-saving treatment.
In some patients, symptoms develop gradually and patients may wait a long time before seeking treatment. By the time they get help, their hearts may already have suffered irreversible damage. Some patients may simply not know the symptoms of heart disease and might not realize
There are also instances of negligence that can lead to a heart disease misdiagnosis in Hollywood or Florida hospitals. Emergency rooms are busy places, and nurses and doctors may fail to take a patient’s medical history or correctly identify at-risk patients. Doctors or nurses may use instruments incorrectly or paperwork mix-ups may mean that patient information is lost or misplaced, leading to incorrect treatment. While most emergency room doctors and nurses do an excellent job of taking care of patients, in some cases negligence and recklessness does happen.
The High Cost of Misdiagnosis
If an emergency room doesn’t catch a heart attack in time and sends the patient home, the results are usually fast and devastating. A heart attack occurs when a blockage in the arteries prevents blood from getting to the heart. Deprived of blood, heart muscles start to die immediately. The patient may end up permanently disabled or may pass away if not given aggressive and life-saving treatment.
Preventing Heart Attack Misdiagnosis
There are several things you can do to decrease the chances of heart attack misdiagnosis:
1) Take care of your health.
Eating well, exercising, getting adequate sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing stress can reduce your risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
2) Get diagnostic testing regularly.
Get your blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risk factors checked, especially if you are over 40, are overweight, or have a family history of heart disease. Taking control of risk factors can reduce your risk of heart disease.
3) Know the symptoms of a heart attack.
The Heart Attack Association has useful information about heart disease and its symptoms. Their website is a good place to review the basics.
4) If you develop any symptoms, seek treatment right away.
Delaying treatment even for a short time can be fatal, so don’t be hesitant.
5) When you seek treatment, tell each doctor you encounter about your risk factors.
When you visit an emergency room, make sure to tell the staff whether you have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or any other risk factors. Repeat this information if a new doctor or nurse takes over your case. Emphasize that you are at risk if you do have these risk factors.
Have you or a loved one suffered due to diagnosis or medical malpractice in Hollywood or South Florida? Contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your case.