In the United States, a heart attack happens every 43 seconds, killing an American every one minute. It is no secret that heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in our nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 600,000 Americans die from heart disease annually – accounting for one in four of all deaths nationwide. Unfortunately, doctors may make a medical error and fail to recognize that a patient has actually suffered a heart attack. Such misdiagnosis may lead to permanent disability, brain injuries, or, in some cases, wrongful death. When this happens, Trombly & Singer, PLLC can help build a strong case to hold doctors accountable for their negligence. For a consultation with an experienced attorney, contact Trombly & Singer, PLLC.
Heart Attack Symptoms
An estimated 5 million people in the United States visit the emergency room with potential heart attack symptoms. Although some symptoms are more obvious than other, possible symptoms include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Chest pain and discomfort
- Shortness of breath while at rest or performing physical activity
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Breaking out in cold sweats
- Nausea and vomiting
Heart attack symptoms vary widely from patient to patient, especially between men and women, who are more likely to have atypical symptoms. Because of this, each individual case should be carefully assessed based on the specifics of that person.
Why Do Doctors Misdiagnose Heart Attacks?
Each year, approximately 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these cases, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen to people who have already experienced a first heart attack. Furthermore, one in five heart attacks is silent, meaning the damage is done but the individual is not aware of it. Heart attacks – over 10,000 of them – are misdiagnosed every year. They are commonly misdiagnosed in the emergency room or by primary care doctors, but why does this happen? Some explanations for why doctors may miss a heart attack include:
- Symptoms are similar to another condition
- Symptoms are mild
- Normal EKG results (this does not always automatically rule out a heart attack)
- No documented history of heart disease/other conditions (i.e. high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol)
- Patient doesn’t fit the “usual” heart attack patient profile
The failure to properly diagnose a heart attack can result in serious personal injury or in extreme cases, death. If a doctor fails to correctly diagnose a heart attack, regardless of the reason for misdiagnosis, and it leads to unnecessary injuries or death, the patient or his/her family deserves justice via compensation from the doctor or another party responsible. To learn more about your legal options, speak with an experienced Washington DC heart attack misdiagnosis attorney as soon as possible.
Local DC Heart Attack Misdiagnosis Lawyers
Being misdiagnosed is a terrible reality. A serious condition, like heart disease, that could have been treated with the proper care, now becomes life-threatening. Our firm is ready to step in and help you recover damages against the negligent party. Contact Trombly & Singer, PLLC to set up a free initial consultation with one of our skilled lawyers.