You awoke with a sharp pain in your arm and what felt like a fifty-pound weight on your chest. You’ve suffered from asthma all your life and periodically have bouts of severe indigestion, but this pain was different. Not only was it stronger but it was also causing you to sweat profusely and affect your vision. After sitting up and trying to take a few deep breaths, you awoke your husband and had him drive you to the Sentara ER.
After about an hour in the waiting room, another 45 minutes waiting for the doctor, and a five-minute exam, he told you that the pain was probably something that you ate and not to worry too much about it. He prescribed you some extra-strength antacids, told you to follow up with your regular doctor if the symptoms persist, and quickly left the room.
The pain didn’t feel like indigestion or heart burn, and you’re still a little worried that it may be something more serious. You looked at your husband with a dumbfounded yet anxious expression.
You weren’t sure what else to do. Could the doctor be wrong, or should you trust his professional opinion and wait it out?
Malpractice Risks of a Heart Attack Misdiagnosis
MedlinePlus, the U.S. National Library of Medicine, and the American Red Cross all agree that coronary disease is the leading cause of death throughout the United States. Every year, nearly 1.5 million people suffer a heart attack, 600,000 of which are fatal. In addition to this disturbingly high number of occurrences, what is equally, if not more disturbing, is the number of attacks that are misdiagnosed or diagnosed late. Over 11,000 victims a year are negligently and wrongfully told that their symptoms and pain are not a result of a heart attack. These misdiagnoses result in severe consequences:
- Seventy-five percent of misdiagnosed heart attack victims have to return to the hospital within a few days with worsening symptoms.
- Many have debilitating decreased heart muscle function because of the delay in getting the right treatment.
- These patients have an increased risk of hypoxia and stroke.
- There is more than a 50 percent increase in the risk of death following another attack.
The risks for medical professionals
- Malpractice lawsuits
- Damaged reputations
- Patient mistrust
- Increased insurance premiums
- Possible incarceration
Don’t allow your doctor’s mistake, negligence, or carelessness to go unpunished. If you feel that his diagnosis was faulty or that his delay in properly diagnosing a heart attack caused severe repercussions to your health or the health of a loved one, we can help you get the justice you deserve.
Call us today to discuss your case and we’ll be happy to outline your rights and get you started on filing a malpractice claim. Don’t waste any more time, especially if a doctor’s actions may have limited how much you have left—call now to ensure you and your family get the compensation in which you’re entitled and that your doctor is forced to take responsibility for his negligent actions.
Don’t let your friends and family suffer needlessly. Make sure they know the risks of not following up on a possible heart attack misdiagnosis. Share this page with them on Facebook to help spread the word and decrease pointless misdiagnosis deaths. It never hurts to get a second opinion, but not knowing the proper information could be fatal.