Virginia Heart Attack Misdiagnosis Lawyer

Heart disease that leads to heart attacks is the number-one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A Virginia heart attack misdiagnosis lawyer can help if you or a loved one has been seriously injured because a doctor negligently failed to diagnose a heart attack.

What is a Virginia Heart Misdiagnosis Lawyer?

A heart attack happens when the flow of blood is suddenly blocked to a section of the heart. When this occurs, that section of the heart is deprived of oxygen and, if the blood flow is not quickly restored, the oxygen-deprived section of the heart may start to die. For this reason, timely diagnosis and treatment of heart attacks are vital in preventing permanent damage and saving lives.

Unfortunately, doctors may make mistakes and fail to recognize that the patient has actually suffered a heart attack. Such misdiagnosis may lead to permanent disability, brain damage, or even death. If a doctor fails to diagnose a heart attack correctly, he should be held liable for the mistake and any resulting damage caused. A Virginia heart attack misdiagnosis lawyer can help victims receive the compensation they deserve following a misdiagnosis by filing a medical malpractice claim.

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Attacks

Approximately 5 million Americans visit the emergency room with possible heart attack symptoms. Some symptoms are more obvious or expected than others. Possible symptoms may include:

  • Chest pain and discomfort
  • Discomfort in the arms, shoulders, back, jaw, or other part of the upper body
  • Shortness of breath while performing physical activity or while at rest.
  • Feeling unusually tired for a few days for no obvious reason
  • Breaking out in cold sweats
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Vomiting or nausea

Signs and symptoms of a heart attack may vary widely from patient to patient, so each individual case should be carefully evaluated based on that particular person’s details.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should get checked out by a doctor. The doctor may  perform one or more of the following tests to assist with diagnosis: an Electrocardiogram (EKG), blood tests, or a coronary angiography. Based on test results, reported symptoms, family history, and your past medical records, a doctor should be able to properly diagnose a heart attack and prescribe proper treatment to prevent further damage. Treatment may include medicine, coronary angioplasty, surgical procedures, and cardiac rehabilitation. If a doctor fails to perform routine tests to determine if you are suffering from a heart attack, and a result does not properly diagnose the condition, then you may have a claim. If you have questions, please contact a Virginia heart attack misdiagnosis lawyer.

Common Reasons for Misdiagnosis

A research study at the New England Medical Center estimated that one in 50 heart attack sufferers is misdiagnosed and wrongfully sent home from the ER without the proper treatment. Some of the reasons doctors may miss a heart attack include the following:

  • Symptoms are mild—Sometimes a heart attack victim will simply have nausea or just a sensation of not feeling as well as usual. If a victim does not indicate more obvious symptoms, such as chest pain, a doctor may fail to test for a heart attack.
  • Symptoms are similar to another condition—Due to similar symptom profiles, heart attacks may often be misdiagnosed as heartburn, acid reflux, esophagitis, other gastrointestinal problems, anxiety attacks, angina, bronchitis, gallstones, and more.
  • Normal EKG—A normal result on an EKG does not always automatically rule out a heart attack. However, when EKG results come back normal, emergency room staff or doctors often begin looking for other conditions away from the heart.
  • No documented history of heart disease or other condition—If a patient has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or other heart disease that has gone undiagnosed, doctors might not realize the patient is at a higher risk for heart attack and might not consider testing for a heart attack.
  • Not your typical heart attack victim—Younger adults, females, and people who are generally in good health are often misdiagnosed because they do not fit the usual profile of a heart attack patient.

Benefits of a Virginia Heart Attack Misdiagnosis Lawyer

No matter what the reason was behind the misdiagnosis, if the failure to correctly diagnose a heart attack causes unnecessary physical damage, illness, or death, the patient or their family deserves to be compensated by the responsible doctor or other party. If you or a loved one suffered injury from a misdiagnosed heart attack, contact our team today.  Your initial consultation is free and requires no commitment from you.