A leading cause of death in the United States is coronary artery disease, or a narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the heart. This condition often results in a heart attack. In some cases, a heart attack kills almost instantly and nothing could be done to save the victim.
However, in other cases, appropriate and timely diagnoses can make the difference between life and death. Some heart attack victims who get proper treatment immediately may have the opportunity to avoid serious heart damage and resume normal life.
Too often, medical mistakes in Utah deprive heart attack victims of this opportunity. Why is this? Here are some common reasons why heart attacks are misdiagnosed:
- Heartburn- Chest pain is a common and indicative sign of a heart attack. Doctors sometimes misdiagnose patients with a gastrointestinal problem and send the patient home, when, in fact, they are suffering a heart attack.
- Patients don’t fit the heart attack profile- Heart attacks can be misdiagnosed in patients who don’t fit the profile of the “typical” male over the age of 45. Women and younger men can, of course, also suffer from heart attacks. Sometimes the symptoms are slightly different. However, a doctor’s failure to perform a thorough exam, order necessary tests, and consult cardiac specialists may lead to a heart attack misdiagnoses.
- Mild Symptoms- Heart attack symptoms vary greatly from one person to another. One person may or may not experience all of the typical symptoms. A physician may dismiss a patients symptoms such as nausea and fatigue as not serious.
- Undiagnosed in the Emergency Room- Sometimes a heart attack may go undiagnosed in the emergency room, particularly if the patient is a woman or younger man. EKG’s may even be normal. A heart attack may be misdiagnosed as GERD, musculoskeletal pain, or a respiratory problem.
If you believe a loved one’s death or serious injury was the result of medical malpractice in Utah due to the failure to properly diagnose a heart attack, please contact Utah Attorney Jared Faerber at The Faerber Law Firm at (801) 943-1005. We have helped numerous victims of medical malpractice in Salt Lake City and throughout the State of Utah. We are happy to discuss your potential case with you for free.