Heart Attack Misdiagnosis – The Most Severe Mistake

Heart Attack Misdiagnosis in MichiganHeart attacks are arguably among the most frightening things that can occur to any of us in our lifetimes. A consistently leading cause of death among adults in the United States, heart attacks are deadly and can be easily fatal if not caught, diagnosed, and treated.  However, they are often times less apparent to the layman’s eye than movies or television may suggest. While the traditional image of a person clutching their chest while they struggle to stay standing is one aspect, many other times heart attacks will manifest in a person getting particularly bad heartburn, or faintness of breath.

But it is okay that not everyone knows all of the symptoms, as that is exactly what doctors are here for: to be aware, diagnose, and save our lives.  A doctor failing to do so is a fundamental threat to our collective health as a society, as even non-fatal heart attacks can permanently cripple a person, as well as severely damage and weaken the heart muscle.

If doctor negligence was a factor in your heart attack being misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all, you may be eligible for compensation, under the rules of malpractice. It is imperative you reach out to an experienced Michigan medical malpractice lawyer for evaluation of your specific circumstances, as you may be able to recoup payment for your medical bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.

Define: Heart Attack

What exactly is a heart attack?  Generally, a heart attack, or myocardial infarction, happens when an artery bringing blood to the heart is blocked. Many things can cause this, including a plaque build-up from high cholesterol. This leads to your heart muscle beginning to decay from a deprivation of oxygen.

What Does A Heart Attack Look Like Exactly?

Heart attacks can appear differently in different people, as with many other conditions or medical illnesses. However, some of the common symptoms of heart attacks, as per the National Institute of Health, include:

  • Intense sweating
  • A strong chest pain (in the form of a squeezing pain, a heavy weight on the chest, or even like indigestion), which can spread to the shoulders, neck, teeth, jaws, stomach, or back
  • Fainting, or feeling light-headed and dizzy
  • Shortness of breath and cough
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Irregular heartbeat

This is just in most normal demographics. From there, women, chronically ill people, and the elderly can experience ‘silent’ heart attacks, in which no symptoms appear other than perhaps fatigue and shortness of breath.

The Diagnostic Process For Heart Attacks

Due to the variety of ways in which heart attack symptoms can appear, medical professionals have many tools in their toolbox to properly diagnose a heart attack.  Generally, they will begin with a physical exam, checking the pulse, listening to the heart and lungs, and checking blood pressure.

From there, they may perform additional tests, such as an ECG (or electrocardiogram, which checks for damage to the heart), a blood test (to examine heart tissue for damage), and a coronary angiography, which uses dye and x-rays to trace the path of blood in the heart.  Failure to order any of these exams, or failure to properly read all of these exams’ results, can be strong evidence of a potential medical malpractice on the part of the doctor.

The Dangers Within

Heart attacks, like cancers or immunosuppressant illnesses, are medical concerns in which time is of the utmost importance. The heart muscle begins to die at the time of the heart attack, making every second afterwards vital, or heart failure and death are imminent.  If a health care professional fails to properly diagnose or treat a heart attack, the patient can see a lifetime of pain and suffering, as well as disability, mounting medical bills, and an inability to work or function properly.

Holding Doctors Accountable And Receiving Compensation After a Heart Attack Misdiagnosis

If you believe all of the above circumstances happened in the case of you or a loved one, you may have witnessed gross negligence on the part of a doctor failing to properly diagnose and treat a heart attack. This leaves you potentially eligible for compensation.  The first step is to get into contact with attorneys who are well-versed in medical malpractice law in your area. It is imperative you do this rapidly, as the statute of limitations varies by state (two years, per Michigan state law).  From there, an experienced attorney will sit down and evaluate all of the evidence in your case, judging which symptoms were apparent, how long the doctor had to assess you, and which diagnosis the doctor ended up making.  The attorney will then able to judge whether the patient has a legitimate claim to malpractice or not, opening the door to compensation in court, by holding the doctor liable for their recklessness.  We will conduct a thorough investigation immediately and hire experts to prove your case if necessary.  We pay for all the upfront costs and will not charge you a dime unless you case is won.  Call The Clark Law Office today at +1 (517) 347-6900.