Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and has been a major reason behind the national drive for healthier lifestyles and diets. But treating a heart problem is only as good as the doctor who is supposed to be diagnosing and/or treating the issue. It happens to roughly one out of every 50 people who go to the Emergency Room for a heart attack, when a health professional fails to diagnose your heart problem, it can lead to further complications and potentially catastrophic consequences for you or a loved one.
Complications that follow a misdiagnosis can result in damages both physical and financial, damages that could’ve been avoided had your doctor been more observant and diligent in their assessment and diagnosis of your condition. That’s when you may have a case for medical malpractice, and you may be due compensation to make up at least for the financial hurt that resulted. But there are factors to consider when trying to determine whether you’ve been a victim of malpractice.
What Can Cause a Misdiagnosis?
Many times, a misdiagnosis may occur because the symptoms of a heart attack can be associated with a variety of other ailments. A doctor who doesn’t perform a careful diagnosis may try passing your symptoms off as a different illness and even prescribe you the wrong medications.
Here are some of the symptoms that you may experience when you’re experiencing a heart attack:
- Chest Pain and Discomfort
- Shortness of Breath
- Pain in Your Neck, Back, or Jaw
- Discomfort in Your Arms or Shoulders
- Feeling Weak or Faint
- Unusual Nausea and Fatigue
As one can see, a lot of these symptoms can be related to other ailments such as a bad flu. There is always the chance that a doctor may decide on it being the flu or something else, which can lead to worsening symptoms and further complications. Eventually, it could even lead to death.
It should also be noted that heart failure can include similar symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue. But you should also be alert for swelling of your legs, ankles, and feet. You may also notice swelling of your neck veins or even your abdomen. These symptoms can also be misdiagnosed for other ailments, so it is important to make sure that your doctor does all the proper diagnosis testing.
Heart arrhythmia, however, is quite distinct. You will usually notice it by how it feels like a fluttering sensation within your chest, also known as palpitations.
How Can I Avoid a Misdiagnosis?
It is important to make sure that your doctor properly assesses you with the right diagnostic testing. If the doctor is simply dismissing you after meeting, they are not doing their job well and are potentially endangering you.
Women are particularly vulnerable to misdiagnosis because they are more likely to get the nausea, vomiting, and fatigue symptoms, which can lead the doctor to think it’s something else and something far less dangerous than what’s happening. If you are not confident about your doctor’s assessment, seek the opinion of a second doctor.
What Happens After a Misdiagnosis? What Can Be Claimed as Damages?
Untreated, a heart attack can lead to further complications such as stroke, paralysis, and of course, death. That is why a heart attack should never be ignored and if one doctor fails to diagnose properly, seek a second opinion from another doctor to make doubly sure that it isn’t a heart attack. For those who suffer a stroke or paralysis, further medical bills are inevitable and those could potentially be declared as damages for a medical malpractice case. The same can go for losing a loved one to a misdiagnosis as a wrongful death is a possible case.
Are You a Victim of a Doctor’s Negligence? TopResearched Can Help You Find the Right Lawyer
If you’re suffering from the effects of an untreated heart attack or have lost a loved one to a misdiagnosed heart problem, you may be able to get compensation for your pain, suffering, and emotional trauma. With the right malpractice lawyer, you can hold accountable the doctors whose negligence led to your continued hurt. But heart issues are no laughing matter and time is of the essence, that’s why TopResearched has already found and collected the best malpractice lawyers in and around your local area. With our top malpractice lawyer lists, you’ll be able to find the right legal help fast and begin the fight for your just compensation.