We all know of someone who suffered a heart attack or who has heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. When a person is experiencing a heart attack, medical professionals must respond to it quickly. The problem is that heart attacks still go undetected. When a medical professional fails to diagnose and respond to a heart attack, it can lead to life-altering complications and even death. But it begs the question, why are heart attacks still wrongfully diagnosed now?
Why do doctors misdiagnose a heart attack?
The symptoms of a heart attack are more widespread than other critical illnesses. It can include chest pain, difficulty breathing, jaw pain, pain in the left arm or shoulder and other related warning indicators. Therefore, it is shocking that doctors still cannot detect a heart attack immediately, primarily because they tend to assume a less fatal condition. Instead of being proactive and ordering the necessary tests to determine a heart attack, they attribute the symptoms to the following health conditions:
- Acid reflux or indigestion
- Panic attack
- Food poisoning
- Muscle inflammation or injury
- Lung issues
A heart attack that goes undetected can quickly turn fatal. It can also cause permanent muscle damage and scarring of the heart. Furthermore, misdiagnosing a heart attack can result in permanent brain damage.
A misdiagnosis can be due to medical malpractice
The symptoms of a heart attack are not always straightforward, and sometimes medical professionals just want to hope for the best. The problem is when they deviate from the medical standard of care they owe to every patient. They dismiss the symptoms as mere panic attacks or digestive issues without fully investigating the source of the patient’s complaints. A medical professional can be liable for medical malpractice when they act negligently or fail to provide the care and service that any doctor should have in a similar situation. A patient can sue a doctor for medical malpractice and recover compensation for their damages.