Medical Malpractice and Failure to Diagnose Heart Conditions
We rely on doctors to diagnose heart conditions as soon as they arise, and with good reason. The American College of Cardiology lists heart disease as the leading cause of death in America. In 2016, 840,768 people died as a result of heart disease. The American College of Cardiology estimated that more than 1 million coronary events occurred last year.
When a doctor fails to diagnose a heart problem, it can have dire consequences. That’s when you should speak with an Oklahoma medical malpractice attorney from Tawwater Law Firm. Let’s consider the common signs of heart conditions and the consequences of a doctor mistake in such cases.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Heart Disease
Given how common heart conditions are in the United States, doctors should be able to recognize the key signs and symptoms of a cardiovascular problem. This includes:
- Chest pain
- Fluttering in the chest
- Fast heartbeat
- Slow heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Numbness and weakness in the extremities
- Fainting spells
- Changes in skin color
Additional symptoms may develop depending on the person’s heart condition and medical history. Doctors must take all potential signs of a heart condition seriously, running proper tests as a precaution rather than disregarding symptoms.
Recognizing Heart Condition Risk Factors
Even if the above signs and symptoms are not present, doctors throughout Oklahoma should at least recognize risk factors of a potential heart problem in patients. These risk factors include:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Use of tobacco products
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Lack of physical activity
By recognizing risks of heart conditions as well as symptoms, doctors can perform urgent medical procedures and suggest various measures for preventative care. By modifying a patient’s lifestyle and habits, doctors can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other life-threatening medical conditions later in life.
The Consequences of Failed Diagnosis
Delayed diagnosis or a failure to diagnose a heart condition can literally mean the difference between life and death. Warning signs being ignored could make an eventual heart attack more likely, which could prove fatal.
Even if a patient survives a heart attack or serious cardiac episode, the repercussions could be dire. Additional medical treatment may be required to treat the damage done, and it can take time to make a full recovery. Had the condition been diagnosed and treated sooner, however, this would not be an issue.
Holding Negligent Doctors Accountable
If you or a loved one has been affected by a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis by a doctor, it’a important that you speak with our attorneys. We can seek damages against the medical professional or hospital for their negligence. Compensatory damages can cover the cost of additional medical care and funerary expenses. Punitive damages can punish doctors for their gross negligence in missing signs of heart disease.
During the legal process, our attorneys can help negotiate a settlement and make sure the amount is fair. If a settlement cannot be reached, we will stand with you as the case goes all the way to trial.
Contact the Tawwater Law Firm
For more information about your legal options following an error by a doctor or medical professional, be sure to contact our skilled team of attorneys. You can reach our law office in Oklahoma City by calling (405) 673-8021.