Heart Attacks: Misdiagnosis and Failure to Diagnose
What You Need to Know About Medical Malpractice in Florida
Misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose are often the result of improper medical care, delayed treatment, or lack of treatment. These instances of medical negligence can worsen a patient’s condition, leading to severe damage or even death. In this article, we’ll explore the essential components needed to pursue a medical negligence claim, focusing on heart conditions as an example.
Heart Conditions and Medical Negligence
Diagnosing heart conditions, such as a heart attack, can be complex. If a physician fails to identify and treat a heart attack promptly, it may constitute medical negligence. When this negligence leads to severe damage to the heart muscle or even death, it may be grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
Most Common Symptoms of a Heart Attack
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a heart attack occurs when a blood vessel in the heart gets blocked or spasms, causing the circulatory system to function improperly. Here are the most common symptoms, each defined:
- Discomfort or Pain in Stomach, Jaw, Back, Arm, or Shoulder: This is often a radiating pain that may start in the chest and spread to these areas.
- Chest Pain: A feeling of tightness, pressure, or squeezing in the chest.
- Dizziness or Lightheadedness: A sensation of being unsteady or losing balance.
- Sudden Weakness: An abrupt loss of strength or feeling of fatigue.
- Heightened Anxiety: Excessive worry or fear, often accompanied by rapid breathing.
- Shortness of Breath and Sweating: Difficulty in breathing accompanied by perspiration.
- Nausea or Vomiting: Feeling sick to the stomach or throwing up.
- Feeling Like an Elephant is Sitting on Your Chest: A metaphorical description of extreme chest pressure.
Common Misdiagnoses of a Heart Attack
A heart attack can often be misdiagnosed as:
- Acid Reflux
- Anxiety Attack
How Doctors Diagnose a Heart Attack
Typically, doctors diagnose a heart attack through a physical exam, reviewing the patient’s medical history, and conducting essential tests like an Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) and lab work.
Permanent Damages Due to Misdiagnosis
Failure to provide immediate medical care for a heart attack can result in permanent heart damage, causing a lifetime of pain and disability.
Florida’s Unique Medical Malpractice Landscape
In Florida, doctors have the option to “go bare,” meaning they may choose not to carry malpractice insurance. While this doesn’t make them immune from lawsuits, it does complicate the process of collecting compensation for injuries.
Consult a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Nancy La Vista is not just a board-certified civil trial attorney specializing in medical malpractice; she’s a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom. As a founding partner at Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Littky-Rubin & Whitman, Nancy brings a unique blend of expertise to her practice. Her background as a former critical care nurse equips her with an in-depth understanding of the healthcare industry, making her a formidable adversary against those who have wrongfully caused harm. She handles a wide range of medical malpractice claims, from birth injuries and diagnostic errors to surgical mistakes and wrongful death cases. Nancy also focuses on health-related claims involving medical products, negligent medical credentialing, and medical whistleblowing.
At Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Littky-Rubin & Whitman, we specialize in pursuing claims against “bare doctors.” If you or a loved one has been harmed due to misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, we encourage you to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Call 561-899-2100 for a Free Consultation today.