For years the media has been reporting on missed heart attacks, where a heart attack occurs but is not diagnosed for hours, days, or even weeks. These episodes are particularly worrisome because prompt treatment is so important for positive outcomes in the case of cardiac arrest or other cardiovascular events.
After the last spate of national news articles on the subject in 2015-2016, hospitals all over the world vowed to focus on making sure that heart attack symptoms are no longer missed or misinterpreted. New protocols were developed and training courses were created to ensure that every doctor was aware of the less obvious signs of a heart attack.
After months of waiting to determine whether or not these changes were effective, a May 2017 report out of England indicates that a missed diagnosis of heart attack is still a major problem. Following very similar protocols to those found in American hospitals, it was determined that approximately 1 out of every 6 heart attack deaths came after a physician missed presenting symptoms.
This report, as sobering as it is, only deals with deaths due to missed diagnosis. Many other patients suffer debilitations and disabilities after doctors fail to properly identify a heart attack. Heart attacks left untreated can lead to weakness of the limbs, damage to the brain, and damage to the cardiovascular system sufficient to prevent even routine exercise and daily living.
If you or someone you love has suffered or died due to a missed heart attack diagnosis, please contact an attorney. Though hospitals have been implementing new programs to minimize the risk of these types of events, clearly those plans aren’t sufficient. An experienced lawyer can help you push for commonsense and productive changes to be made in the medical system.