Jackson Heart Attack Misdiagnosis Attorney
Misdiagnosis & Failure to Diagnose Heart Attacks
Heart attacks and other cardiovascular events are medical emergencies requiring immediate attention. When not treated within one hour, heart attacks can lead to significant scarring, muscle damage, and death.
Doctors, including emergency room doctors, should know and properly identify signs of a heart attack. When they fail to quickly and accurately diagnose a patient’s condition, they may be held responsible for their negligence. At ‘Maggio | Thompson, LLP, our Jackson heart attack misdiagnosis attorneys represent victims of diagnostic errors and their loved ones. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients and have a long, proven history of success in complex medical malpractice cases.
How Common Are Misdiagnosed Heart Attacks?
Along with infections and cancer, misdiagnosed heart attacks and other cardiovascular events are among the top three most commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions in the United States. Together, the “big three” make up about 75% of misdiagnosis-related serious injuries, medical complications, and deaths every year.
In addition to heart attacks, the following cardiovascular diseases are commonly misdiagnosed or undiagnosed:
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary heart disease
- Congenital heart disease
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Pulmonary embolism
- Rheumatic heart disease
- Cerebrovascular disease
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Aorta disease
- Marfan syndrome
Without an accurate diagnosis, patients with these diseases and other cardiovascular issues are at risk of life-threatening complications. If it is discovered that a doctor, specialist, or another healthcare provider was negligent in failing to diagnose or misdiagnosing a cardiovascular disease or event, the victim and/or their surviving loved ones may be entitled to financial compensation.
Who Is Most at Risk?
Countless studies have shown that women are at a significantly higher risk of heart attack-related misdiagnoses and diagnostic errors. This has been largely attributed to the fact that women tend to present different heart attack symptoms than men.
According to research from the American College of Cardiology, nearly two thirds of fatal heart disease events in women occur without prior symptoms. A review of medical malpractice cases from 2011 to 2015 found that approximately 70% of claims involved a woman who died after having a heart condition improperly diagnosed. Another study published in the medical journal Circulation found that nearly 62% of the 2,009 women involved in the study had non-chest pain heart attack symptoms, compared to just under 55% of the 976 men involved.
The study found that women were more likely to present non-chest pain heart attack symptoms than men, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Stomach pain
- Chest palpitations
In the same study, about 53% of the women involved reported that their healthcare providers did not attribute their symptoms to a heart-related condition.
Even more at risk of heart attack misdiagnosis are Black women and women of color. According to the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women, almost 50,000 Black women die due to cardiovascular disease every year and over 40% of non-Hispanic Black women have high blood pressure, which increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Further data have revealed that Black women of all ages are more likely to experience heart attacks than white women, and young Black women are more likely to die in the hospital during or immediately after a heart attack than white women of any age.
One possible reason for this is that medical providers are less likely to provide necessary treatments to women of color than white women, and they are more likely to overlook risk factors of heart disease—such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stress, and depression—in Black women, Hispanic women, Asian women, and other women of color.
Is a Misdiagnosed Heart Attack Always Considered Medical Malpractice?
Although doctors and other healthcare providers are expected to do everything they can to diagnose and treat patients, they are not expected to be perfect. The law recognizes that medical professionals can make mistakes, and sometimes these mistakes are unavoidable.
However, the law also recognizes that preventable errors—whether in diagnosing or treating a medical condition such as a heart attack—should never occur.
Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a heart attack may constitute medical malpractice if the attending medical professional failed to uphold the accepted standard of care. This means that they did something that another qualified healthcare provider would not have done in the same situation, or they failed to do something that another qualified provider would have done in similar circumstances.
Contact ‘Maggio | Thompson, LLP to Learn More
If you believe that you or your loved one suffered due to a preventable medical error, we invite you to reach out to our Jackson heart attack misdiagnosis attorneys right away. We can meet with you to discuss the details of your case, along with your legal rights and options. There are no costs associated with your initial consultation, and we do not collect any legal fees unless we win your case.