Heart Attack Malpractice 101

Severe chest pain and nausea may result in a visit to the emergency room. A surgeon may decide to perform angioplasty if one or more coronary arteries are blocked. Even though one in twenty individuals go to emergency rooms because of acute coronary syndrome, too many patients do not receive treatments that can save their lives.

Nevertheless, a person experiencing chest pain may not have a heart problem. Additionally, an emergency room physician may misdiagnose an illness resulting from an abdominal condition or another related disease.

Medical Malpractice Involving the Heart Occurs for Two Primary Reasons:

  1. The person’s heart condition was not diagnosed by a doctor promptly. A patient’s primary care physician may have failed to recognize the patient’s heart condition before the heart attack or during the event.
  2. The proper treatment was not performed right away.

Standard Medical Evaluations for Patients Complaining of Chest Pain Include the Following:

  1. An attending nurse or physician needs to ask the patient for a detailed description of the incident, including whether the pain became worse when breathing. Sometimes, a person may not even have any chest pain. Instead, the patient may experience tightness in the chest area or arms. Shortness of breath accompanied by nausea are classic symptoms of heart-related incidents. In addition, the person may feel dizzy.
  2. Emergency room mistakes take place when the attending physician makes an incorrect diagnosis. A doctor may think the person has an upset stomach or a similar temporary condition. Doctors are more likely to make errors when younger patients or women visit emergency rooms with complaints about chest pain.
  3. A patient visiting an emergency room with chest pain needs a quick diagnosis via medical tests that include an angiogram X-ray. An emergency room surgeon specializing in angioplasty surgery typically begins the procedure within one hour after the patient’s arrival. Otherwise, the patient may experience permanent heart damage or even die. Medical neglect may result in heart attacks lawsuits.
  4. Clot-busting drugs (thrombolytics) administered within 30 to 60 minutes after arriving at the emergency room can dissolve clots. But this method takes second place to an angioplasty. Plus, clot-busting drugs only work when given within 12 hours after the patient experiences symptoms related to a heart attack.

Standard Medical Evaluations for Patients Complaining of Chest Pain:

  1. An attending emergency room nurse or physician needs to ask the patient for details describing the incident, including whether the pain became worse when breathing. A patient does not always have chest pain. Instead, the person may experience tightness in the chest area or arms. Shortness of breath accompanied by nausea are classic symptoms of heart-related incidents. Additionally, the patient may feel dizzy.
  2. The hospital staff performs several electrocardiograms (EKGs) to ensure a correct diagnosis. Note that one normal EKG is insufficient. A study revealed that many patients had normal EKGs but still experienced future heart attacks.
  3. Heart cells release specific proteins before they die, including creatinine phosphokinase (CK) and troponin. However, a person can have normal levels of these proteins even if they experience a heart attack. The usual procedure is to test the cardiac enzymes at least two times.
  4. Aspirin combined with Plavix, or a similar prescribed medication, makes platelets less sticky. Consequently, a person experiencing symptoms related to a heart attack should take one adult aspirin or three to four baby aspirins immediately. Research shows that chewable aspirins work better for preventing significant problems resulting from an incident involving the heart.
  5. Beta-Blocker drugs may offer extra protection to the heart.
  6. ACE inhibitor drugs are sometimes prescribed when the patient for patients before they go home.

Set up a Consultation with a Medical Malpractice Attorney

A medical malpractice attorney provides free consultations to evaluate heart attacks lawsuits. Any person who has not received the standard medical treatments recommended for heart attacks may want to speak with an attorney.