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Heart attacks are one of the leading causes of death in our country. Although heart attacks can come on suddenly, most will start slowly and will give you fair warning; a quick medical response can be live saving. Do not be embarrassed to seek medical help even if it turns out to be something far less severe.
Time is of the essence in properly diagnosing a heart attack or stroke. If a medical professional has missed the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, you or your loved one can suffer serious consequences from the missed diagnosis.
Serious injury or even death can result from a lack of response by doctors, emergency staff and nurses. Failure to respond in a timely manner or diagnose and treat accordingly may be grounds to file a medical malpractice claim. The dedicated lawyers at Clark & Mitchell P.C. in Oklahoma City can assess the facts of your case and guide you in the proper steps to take to recover damages for a malpractice suit.
Heart Attack Diagnosis
Studies have shown that heart attack victims are frequently able to recover completely from a heart attack if quick action is taken. However, medical providers often miss the signs and symptoms of this common emergency. Symptoms can mimic other medical conditions, such as severe gas, heartburn, anxiety and panic attacks. Understanding the signs and symptoms of a heart attack can be your first line of defense, and include:
- Mild pain or discomfort in the chest that comes and goes
- Burning below the ribs or breastbone
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid or inconsistent heartbeat
- Weakness or fatigue
- Radiating pain down your neck, shoulders and arms
- Pale or blue-colored skin tone
- Cold sweats or chills
How do these signs get missed?
Oftentimes when a patient has heart attack symptoms, they may go to the ER; there, they may be triaged for “more serious” patients, when in fact, their own situation is truly life or death. Inexperienced interns or medical students may receive your case and not know how to connect all of these symptoms to the correct diagnosis. Since the symptoms are so common among other illnesses, a younger patient may be misdiagnosed because the doctor may not even consider a heart attack as an issue due to their age. Regardless of why you or your loved one’s symptoms were misdiagnosed, the effects of not treating a heart attack as soon as possible are devastating and potentially fatal.