A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to the heart is suddenly decreased. Without emergency medical treatment, the resulting loss of oxygen to the heart muscle can quickly result in a patient’s death.
Causes of Heart Attacks
Some possible causes of heart attacks include:
- Medication side effects
- Medical malpractice (Misdiagnosis, failure to perform tests, etc.)
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Family history
Heart Attack Symptoms
Although heart attacks can come on suddenly with no warning, they often develop more slowly and have recognizable symptoms. Some symptoms include:
- Nausea, dizziness, sweating
- Rapid or irregular heartbeats
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in chest
Patients arriving in the emergency room complaining of chest pain, pain that radiates through the arm or jaw, shortness of breath, or other symptoms such as dizziness, or faintness, need to be carefully evaluated for a possible heart attack.
Heart Attack Misdiagnosis
Heart attack misdiagnosis is one of the most common emergency room errors. In addition to initiating oxygen and medication to help mitigate damage from diminished oxygen during a possible heart attack, the standard of care requires that doctors perform a thorough assessment of the patient’s medical history as well as an electrocardiogram (EKG) to evaluate the electrical activity of the heart. It is critical at this stage that the attending physician correctly interpret the EKG reading. Any delay in the diagnosis of a heart attack could cause severe and irreparable damage or death. Any doctor who fails to diagnose a heart attack or administer the appropriate standard of care could be liable for medical malpractice.
Heart Attack Lawyer
If you or someone you love has suffered a heart attack as the result of medical error, drug side effect or other type of of negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney today to learn more about your legal rights.