Myocardial Infarction & Heart Attack - Diagnosis Errors

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:41 by admin
The most common medical diagnosis error is failure to diagnose, or a delay in diagnosing, an acute myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack. Infarction means "death of tissue," and a myocardial infarction occurs when the heart muscle (tissue) dies.

Time is of the essence when a patient makes a trip to the emergency room complaining of chest pain. Often, with swift medical intervention, the damage from a heart attack can be minimized. However, when an emergency room physician or other healthcare professional mistakes chest pain for indigestion and sends the patient home with Maalox, the result is often catastrophic. More often than not, an otherwise preventable death occurs, all due to the negligence or simple inattentiveness of the medical professional. Statistics reveal that a heart attack victim is twice as likely to die if the attending physician significantly delays the diagnosis of myocardial infarction.

Since such an unfortunate outcome is so easily avoided, medical malpractice lawsuits based on failure to diagnose often exact a heavy financial toll on the negligent doctor.

If a patient complains of any of the following symptoms, the doctor must consider the possibility of myocardial infarction:

- jaw pain
- neck pain
- abdominal pain
- back pain
- arm pain
- heart palpitations
- excessive anxiety
- sense of impending doom
- nausea
- loss of balance
- excessive sweating

In determining whether these symptoms indicate a bona fide heart attack, a doctor may be negligent if he or she fails to evaluate the patient's myocardial infarction risk factors (such as age, physical conditioning, diet, etc.), fails to consider the location, duration, and radiation of any physical pain (chest pain, arm pain, etc.), fails to compare any preexisting electrocardiogram (EKG) readings with a current EKG, misinterprets such readings, or neglects to check the patient's enzyme levels.

If the evaluation of all of these factors indicates the patient is suffering from an acute myocardial infarction, there are certain medical procedures and drug therapies that must be administered as soon as possible. Failure to do so may be malpractice.

If you or a loved one have received substandard medical care, don't pay for a doctor's mistake, contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

Attorneys associated with will evaluate your case free of charge. In addition, you will not pay any fees or costs unless your attorney recovers money for you. Please click on the free Ask An Attorney button to take advantage of this valuable service.

View sub-topics at right to learn more about proper treatment of myocardial infarction.

See Also

  1. Diagnosis Errors
  2. Myocardial Infarction & Heart Attack - Proper Treatment: Overview
  3. Heart Attack Lawsuits
  4. Digitek Overdose
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