We expect that doctors and emergency room staff will be able to pinpoint when a patient is having a heart attack and will develop a plan to treat them properly. Unfortunately, some medical practitioners may fail to diagnose a patient with a heart attack, which could lead to more serious issues for the patient. If your heart attack was misdiagnosed by a physician, consult with an experienced Maryland heart attack misdiagnosis attorney as soon as possible.
At Bennett & Heyman, we recognize the gravity of a misdiagnosis error, and we are here to help you pursue compensation for any injuries sustained as a result of a heart attack misdiagnosis in Maryland. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact Bennett & Heyman at (410) 429-7856. You can also contact the firm online.
How a Heart Attack Misdiagnosis Can Happen
A heart attack occurs when a portion of heart muscle ceases to function because of inadequate blood flow. Many heart attacks occur because an artery that supplies blood to the heart becomes clogged by a blood clot. Diagnosing a heart attack as soon as possible is necessary to avoid the possibility of severe damage to a person’s heart.
There are various reasons that a heart attack may be misdiagnosed. A misdiagnosis that occurs under the following circumstances may trigger a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Failing to Request a Patient’s Full Medical History
When treating a patient that may be having a heart attack, it is crucial that doctors and nurses collect a patient’s medical history. The patient’s medical history can help a doctor determine whether a patient is experiencing a heart attack. For example, if a patient has a history of high blood pressure or a family history of heart attacks, this information will help diagnose a heart attack.
Unfortunately, some medical practitioners may not ask the right questions regarding a patient’s medical history, which could easily lead to a misdiagnosis.
An electrocardiogram or EKG is a test that is used to measure the electrical activity of a person’s heart. EKGs can help a doctor determine whether a patient is experiencing a heart attack. However, misinterpreting an EKG or solely relying on an EKG could cause result in a doctor failing to diagnose the patient’s heart attack.
There are some circumstances where a doctor may mistake the signs and symptoms of a heart attack with a different condition. Many people that experience a heart attack will complain of symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and other issues. Unfortunately, a doctor may confuse these symptoms with other unrelated illnesses:
A mistake when diagnosing or a delayed diagnosis can result in severe harm to a patient.
Downplaying Risk of Heart Attack
Heart attacks are often rare for women and young individuals. As a result, some doctors may not appreciate the risk that a patient could be having a heart attack. This could lead to a doctor diagnosing a patient with a less severe condition. If this happens, a doctor may become liable if the misdiagnosis seriously injures a patient.
There are many other reasons that can explain why a doctor misdiagnosed a heart attack. To learn more about liability for a medical malpractice claim, continue reading and speak with an experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney.
Liability for a Heart Attack Misdiagnosis in Maryland
If you sought medical attention for a heart attack and was misdiagnosed in Maryland, there are multiple parties that could be liable for your injury. Multiple parties could be held responsible because a patient may be treated by a number of medical practitioners if they seek emergency medical care for a heart attack.
If a patient receives inadequate healthcare at a hospital, the doctor and the hospital they work for could be held liable for medical malpractice. To establish a medical malpractice claim against a doctor, a patient must show that there was a doctor-patient relationship. Specifically, the patient must show that they received care or medical advice from a doctor. Showing that you received care at a hospital, or a hospital bill could be sufficient to show a doctor-patient relationship.
Note, however, that some hospitals hire doctors as independent contractors. This may allow a hospital to allege that they do not have full control over the actions of a doctor, and they should not be vicariously liable for their actions. Additionally, triage nurses, lab technicians, physician assistants, and other parties could also be held liable for misdiagnosis of a heart attack.
If you wish to file a Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor or hospital that failed to diagnose your heart condition, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Our firm can also help you pursue a wrongful death lawsuit if the negligent actions of a doctor caused the death of a loved one. We understand the burden of losing a family member, and we are here for you and your family.
Work with Our Experienced Maryland Heart Attack Misdiagnosis Lawyer to Discuss Your Claim
If you or a family member was a victim of a heart attack that went undiagnosed, contact an experienced Maryland heart attack misdiagnosis lawyer. At Bennett & Heyman, we are dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation that you deserve to hold a negligent doctor accountable. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact Bennett & Heyman at (410) 429-7856.