Failure to Diagnose Heart Conditions and Heart Attacks
West Virginia family of medical malpractice attorneys advocates for patients whose serious cardiac conditions went undiagnosed or untreated
Heart disease is the nation’s leading cause of death. More than 600,000 Americans die from heart disease each year: one heart attack occurs every 43 seconds, and one heart disease-related death occurs every minute. These statistics from the Centers for Disease Control clearly show the importance of correct diagnosis by physicians. No assumptions should be made based on a patient’s gender, age, or general appearance. Heart attack is an equal opportunity killer.
Paulson & Nace, PLLC is a family-owned and managed firm of medical malpractice lawyers. We understand the potential deadliness of a medical professional’s failure to diagnose heart disease or, in some cases, to even realize that a patient is having a heart attack right in front of them. Our family of West Virginia medical malpractice attorneys has won numerous cases and made major settlements on behalf of individuals and families injured by failure to recognize heart disease or treat a heart attack.
Risks, causes, and symptoms of heart attack
The risks of heart disease are well known, and its presence in a patient can be easily verified. Normally, only a couple of tests, a few questions, and a competent examination are all that is needed. The principal risk factors for heart disease are:
- Smoking, either currently or recently
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Lack of exercise
- Poor diet
- Elevated LDL cholesterol
The heart is comprised of specialized cardiac muscle tissue whose regular contraction and relaxation allow the organ to function as a pump. Its own extensive network of blood vessels (the coronary arteries) ensures that the cardiac muscle tissue is supplied with oxygenated blood. A person is said to have a “heart attack” when one or more of the coronary arteries becomes constricted or blocked. As a result, the blood they carry is diminished or cut off completely, causing a spasm of the cardiac muscle. The spasm interrupts the heart’s rhythmic pumping action, reducing the circulation of blood throughout the body. The cessation of blood supply to the cardiac muscle can cause its permanent damage, while reduced blood supply to the brain can cause unconsciousness and eventual death. All the factors noted above work toward constriction and blockage of the coronary blood vessels.
Heart attack symptoms commonly include chest pain, difficulty breathing, fatigue and dizziness, pain in the jaw, neck, or left shoulder, nausea, and unconsciousness. Many people, especially women, experience heart attack symptoms more akin to indigestion, which can lead to misdiagnosis.
Misdiagnosis of heart disease
In misdiagnosis of heart disease, a hospital or medical professional attributes the presented symptoms to some non-heart-related cause such as a gastrointestinal disorder. Mistaken diagnoses of heart attack have included:
- Acid reflux
- Panic attacks
- Rib fracture
A West Virginia attorney can represent you if medical malpractice is involved in your misdiagnosis. Call a lawyer for more information regarding your legal rights.
Lawyers advocating on behalf of West Virginia’s victims of misdiagnosed heart disease and heart attack
Living with heart disease can be difficult; choosing the right medical malpractice lawyers should not be. Paulson & Nace, PLLC’s distinguished family of medical malpractice attorneys offers the compassionate, personal, and professional attention you deserve. We are widely recognized throughout West Virginia for both our comprehensive legal services and our aggressive advocacy for victims of missed or incorrect diagnosis. When you choose a medical malpractice attorney from our practice to represent you, you are choosing a team that values families and family relationships. Please call 304-741-8079 or fill out our contact form to tell us your story in a no-obligation consultation. Our office is located at 3501 Maccorkle Ave SE, Charleston, WV 25304.
We have dedicated our lives to helping medical malpractice victims. Now, let our family help yours.