A heart attack is a life-threatening event that requires immediate medical intervention. The sooner a person receives the necessary medical treatment, the better their chances of survival and recovery. Unfortunately, doctors and other healthcare providers do not always properly diagnose heart attacks, which can lead to delayed treatment, serious complications, and even death.
At Cullan & Cullan, our Kansas City heart attack misdiagnosis attorneys are also physicians. We know how important it is for heart attacks to be recognized and treated in a timely manner, and we know how to hold negligent medical professionals accountable. Our firm is prepared to help you through every stage of the legal process, fighting for the full, fair recovery you are owed.
If you or someone you love suffered harm due to a heart attack misdiagnosis, call (816) 253-8606 or contact us onlineto request a free, confidential consultation with one of our experienced heart attack misdiagnosis lawyers in Kansas City.
How Are Heart Attacks Diagnosed?
Heart attacks, also known as myocardial infarctions, are typically diagnosed based on a variety of factors, including a patient's symptoms, medical history, and the results of various diagnostic tests. When a patient comes to a doctor or other medical professional with symptoms that could indicate a heart attack, the healthcare provider should take the appropriate steps to rule out a heart attack or confirm that one has occurred.
Some of the most common diagnostic tests used to diagnose heart attacks include:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): This test measures the electrical activity in a patient's heart and can help identify heart attacks and other heart problems.
- Cardiac enzyme tests: Heart attacks can cause the heart muscle to release certain enzymes into the bloodstream. Blood tests can detect these enzymes, which can help confirm that a heart attack has occurred.
- Stress tests: These tests measure how the heart and blood vessels respond to stress and can help identify heart problems, including heart attacks.
- Coronary angiography: This test uses dye and special X-rays to provide detailed images of the blood vessels in the heart. It can help identify blocked or narrowed arteries, which can cause heart attacks.
When a doctor or other medical professional fails to properly diagnose a heart attack, it can have devastating consequences. If you believe your doctor or another healthcare provider failed to diagnose your heart attack, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
How Can a Healthcare Provider Misdiagnose a Heart Attack?
Healthcare providers can occasionally misdiagnose a heart attack due to various factors. Some reasons for misdiagnoses of heart attacks include:
- Atypical Symptoms: Not all heart attacks present with the classic symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, and pain radiating down the left arm. Some individuals, especially women, elderly patients, or those with diabetes, may experience atypical symptoms, making it challenging to recognize a heart attack.
- Silent Heart Attacks: In some cases, individuals may have "silent" heart attacks, where there are minimal or no noticeable symptoms. Healthcare providers might miss these incidents during routine check-ups.
- Misinterpretation of Symptoms: Symptoms of a heart attack can mimic other conditions, such as indigestion, anxiety, or musculoskeletal pain. Healthcare providers may initially attribute these symptoms to a less severe issue, leading to a misdiagnosis.
- Diagnostic Tests: While diagnostic tests like electrocardiograms (ECG or EKG) and blood tests are essential in diagnosing heart attacks, they are not infallible. Results can be influenced by various factors, and false positives or negatives may occur.
- Communication Challenges: Patients may not always provide a complete or accurate description of their symptoms. Miscommunication or incomplete information can lead to a healthcare provider overlooking the possibility of a heart attack.
- Lack of Awareness: In some cases, healthcare providers may not immediately consider a heart attack as a diagnosis, especially in younger patients or those without apparent risk factors.
What Are the Consequences of a Heart Attack Misdiagnosis?
When a patient's heart attack is misdiagnosed, they may not receive the necessary medical treatment promptly. As a result, they may suffer serious complications, including heart damage, heart failure, arrhythmia, and even death.
The consequences of a heart attack misdiagnosis can be life-altering, leading to:
- Permanent heart damage
- Heart failure
- Heart rupture
Even when a heart attack misdiagnosis does not result in death, it can cause significant emotional trauma, financial hardships, and a diminished quality of life. If you or your loved one suffered harm due to a heart attack misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation for all of your related losses.
How Our Firm Can Help
At Cullan & Cullan, we know the physical, emotional, and financial toll a heart attack misdiagnosis can have on you and your family. Our Kansas City heart attack misdiagnosis lawyers are here to help you fight for justice and the fair compensation you are owed. We can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence of fault, and build a strong case on your behalf.
In a heart attack misdiagnosis lawsuit, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement and disability
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral/burial expenses (in wrongful death cases)
- Loss of companionship (in wrongful death cases)
Our firm is proud to offer compassionate, personalized legal services to individuals and families in Kansas City. We understand that every case is unique, which is why we take the time to listen to your story, answer your questions, and explain your legal options. You can rely on us to provide the honest, straightforward legal guidance you need and the aggressive advocacy you deserve.