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Misdiagnosed Heart Attacks Are Common and Dangerous

We’ve all seen examples of them on TV. Some of us have had family members suffer from them. Some have even been hit with a heart attack themselves. A heart attack is a very scary situation. People who believe they are suffering from a heart attack are advised to go to the emergency room, but a misdiagnosis there can turn into a medical malpractice suit.

Just because you’re doing your part and going to the hospital doesn’t mean that the doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals are doing their jobs properly. If you’ve ever been inside an emergency room, you know it’s a very hectic and chaotic scene; it’s hardly the place to properly diagnose a heart attack. In the ER, doctors attend to patients based upon the severity of their symptoms, but some heart attack symptoms may be mistakenly associated with other conditions. This can open the door for misdiagnosis.

Common heart attack symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Upper body pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling unusually tired and lethargic for extended periods of time
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat

As you can see, all of these symptoms are commonly linked to many other illnesses. With doctors and nurses rushing through patients, it’s no wonder that one in 50 heart attacks is misdiagnosed, according to a study conducted by the New England Medical Center. Nurses and doctors may not run the necessary tests to determine if a coronary has occurred because they don’t suspect it has happened and don’t have enough time to properly diagnose it.

When a heart attack is misdiagnosed, patients do not get the necessary treatment and also cannot take subsequent preventative efforts. An untreated heart attack can lead to long-term health problems, as well as a preventable and wrongful death.

The fact that most healthcare professionals aren’t purposely or maliciously misdiagnosing heart conditions doesn’t excuse negligence and recklessness. If you or a loved one has had a heart attack misdiagnosed, you may have a medical malpractice case.

Contact the experienced personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at Cohen, Placitella & Roth today to discuss your case and set up a risk-free consultation.

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