Heart Attack Misdiagnosis
Heart Attack Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
Much like a stroke, a heart attack requires immediate medical attention. Heart attacks often happen when blood clots suddenly form on top of plaque and obstruct the flow of blood to the heart. Heart attacks don’t always come with the usual symptoms of chest pain and tightening of the left arm, which can be why they are misdiagnosed.
What are the Symptoms of a Heart Attack?
Patients who are having a heart attack can experience a wide array of symptoms. Some patients will experience many symptoms, and others will only experience a few. Some of the most common symptoms of a heart attack includes:
- Pain in the chest that is crushing, squeezing, or burning pain, in addition to pressure or feeling of fullness
- Discomfort or pain from the chest radiating to the neck, shoulders, one or both arms, or even the jaw
- Aches that lasts for at least a few minutes and may reduce in intensity and return
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness and/or fainting
- Nausea, heartburn (acid reflux), or upset stomach
- Sweating or feeling chilly
- A weak, yet fast pulse
- Irregular heart beat
- Cold or clammy skin
- Gray color in the face
And these are just the standard symptoms. Some patients experience none of these symptoms when having a heart attack, a condition called silent ischemia. Women may also have different heart attack symptoms than men. Instead of chest pain they may experience pain in the upper abdomen, jaw, back, or neck, in addition to others like fatigue or shortness of breath.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Heart Attacks?
Many patients come to the ER each year with the symptoms above, but are sent home without the proper diagnosis. This especially includes women who don’t present with typical heart attack signs and those thought of as too young to have one. Heart attacks can only be diagnosed with special tests like an EKG, heart imaging, blood work or thorough exam by a cardiologist. If a heart attack goes misdiagnosed or undiagnosed, it is likely to occur again, and the consequences can be severe for patients. They can suffer anything from permanent heart damage to brain damage and even death.
Heart Attack Misdiagnosis Attorneys
If you or someone you know in the Philadelphia area had a heart attack and was not timely diagnosed, you have legal options. The heart attack misdiagnosis attorneys at Lopez McHugh LLP can help you understand your legal options and pursue compensation on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.