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Medical Malpractice: Failure to Diagnose a Heart Attack

It is no medical secret that heart attacks are a leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, it is the second leading cause of death in Tennessee. Fortunately, it is often treatable if discovered quickly. Since coronary illnesses are common in a large amount of people, medical professionals are obligated to be aware of heat attack symptoms which include: chest pain, pain in one or both arms, neck pain, back pain, jaw pain, cold sweats, nausea, and shortness of breath. A doctors’ failure to recognize a heart attack may constitute malpractice.


A doctor or medical team may be guilty of malpractice if they misdiagnose a heart attack as indigestion or some other non-life threatening ailment. The key to determining if the misdiagnosis constitutes malpractice is to consider what information the doctor was given and what did the examination reveal. Heart attack symptoms are so universally known, it may be apparent from a simple review of the medical records. Specifically, do the records reflect common heart attack symptoms? Did the patient disclose a family history of heart disease? Were the proper tests conducted? Did the doctor ask the right questions and did they personally examine the patient? Was there a subsequent heart attack diagnosis at a different facility? These are a few of the relevant issues to examine when determining if the medical professional committed malpractice.

Information about Cardiac arrest and related illnesses

Cardiovascular illness is the main reason in the United States that a man or a woman dies. This illness occurs if circulation is limited by an artery not being wide enough due to fat building in the vessels. If blood is not flowing unrestricted to the heart, oxygen and nutrition can't go into a person's body. Each year, a little over one million people in the United States go into cardiac arrest and almost fifty percent of these people die as a result. Treatment for cardiac arrest tries to remove blockage from the affected arteries to allow blood to get into the body easier in order to lower the risk of going into cardiac arrest again. Treatment and a procedure known as thrombolytic therapy has been successful for cardiac arrest because it breaks down blood that becomes clotted. Other surgeries such as angioplasty and coronary artery bypass are also used to treat cardiac arrest. In order for these options to be successful they need to be given as fast as possible typically in an hour of when the cardiac arrest signs started appearing. Research has discovered that one out of fifty cardiac arrest episodes are not diagnosed.

Illnesses that may lead to cardiac arrest often take time to appear until arteries become blocked and a patient is hospitalized. When a patient is hospitalized medical professionals are under an obligation to test in order to figure out if the patient actually went into cardiac arrest. Sometimes medical professionals may ignore signs or not spend an adequate amount of time looking over a patient and then they may not notice the signs of a cardiac arrest episode and this can lead to life-threatening injuries.


If you or a family member sought medical help for a heart attack and were turned away, please contact our office. Our legal team knows how hard this must be for you and the ones you love. We will work on your behalf to make sure that you compensated for what you have suffered.

Contact us online or call us at 800-705-2121 to consult with us about your case and any legal action you may be able to take.

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