Orlando Failure to Diagnose Heart Disease Lawyers
If a Doctor Misdiagnosed Your Heart Issue, You May Have a Claim
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, claiming more than 610,000 lives each year. Fortunately, heart disease is treatable when it is diagnosed in earlier stages. Remedies can be as simple as lifestyle changes or medications, but in severe cases, surgery may be required. The important thing is for doctors to notice the symptoms of heart disease and put patients on the proper course of treatment. When heart disease isn’t diagnosed, or is not diagnosed in time, the patient may suffer a debilitating or even fatal heart attack.
Since heart disease is the cause of one in four American deaths, physicians must be vigilant for the subtle signs of heart disease in patients, and stay up to date with the latest information regarding this prominent affliction.
Causes of a Missed or Delayed Diagnosis of Heart Disease
Heart disease often goes undiagnosed because a patient’s primary care physician or ER doctor fails to order certain tests or procedures, such as chest X-rays, electrocardiographs (ECG), electrocardiograms (EKG), and exercise tolerance tests (stress tests). In certain cases, a doctor should order appropriate tests even where the patient has no other symptoms based on factors such as the patient’s age, gender, ethnicity, family history of heart disease, and weight.
However, even when the correct diagnostic tests are ordered, heart disease may be overlooked because the physician incorrectly reads the results of the tests or doesn’t initiate timely treatment or refer the patient to a cardiologist.
Failure to Recognize a Heart Attack
Misdiagnosis of heart disease can also occur when a person is actually having a heart attack and seeks care at an emergency room. We have unfortunately seen this happen in several cases. An ER physician may miss signs of heart disease because they can be similar to symptoms of heartburn, anxiety, acid reflux, bronchitis, fatigue, the flu, and depression. An ER physician may also make the mistake of assuming that signs of a heart attack are the same in men as they are in women. While men and women share similar heart attack symptoms like chest pain, women are more likely to experience additional symptoms, including neck pain, nausea, or lightheadedness, and also tend to characterize their chest pain differently than men. Sending a heart attack victim away without treatment can result in permanent physical damage to a patient’s heart, and in many cases, can lead to death.
If you or a loved one has suffered because heart disease, or even a heart attack, was not diagnosed when symptoms were present, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. To find out more, call the experienced Orlando medical malpractice attorneys at Faiella & Gulden, P.A., at (407) 647-6111. Your initial consultation is free of charge, and if we take your case, you will pay no fees and costs unless we recover for you.
- Heart Disease - Mayo Clinic
- What is Cardiovascular Disease? - American Heart Association
- Heart Disease Facts - CDC
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