Heart Attack Medical Malpractice Lawyer
What is a Heart Attack?
A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to a section of the heart becomes blocked. If this blockage is not quickly restored, the heart becomes damaged due to a lack of oxygen, resulting in death of that part of the heart muscle.
Heart attacks occur in most cases as a result of the condition called coronary artery disease, which is caused by the build-up over years of fatty material known as plaque on the inside walls of the coronary arteries. When an area of plaque breaks off or ruptures, this can result in the formation of a blood clot. When the clot becomes large enough, it will block the flow oxygen-rich blood to the heart, resulting in a heart attack.
What are the Warning Signs of a Heart Attack?
Most people think heart attacks happen fast. In reality, most heart attacks start slowly with some pain and discomfort. Sometimes the pain may come and go. The pain can include one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach. You may also experience shortness of breath. This can happen before chest discomfort. Some other symptoms include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness.
Failure to Diagnose and Treat Heart Disease can lead to a Heart Attack
Medical malpractice will occur when a physician or health care professional fails to timely diagnose and treat coronary artery disease. The key to preventing a heart attack is the timely diagnosis and treatment of the heart condition. There are many factors that can increase the risk of heart disease, such as a history of smoking, drinking alcohol, elevated cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, or a history of family members who have heart disease. Doctors must be vigilant in the examination and testing of patients who are at an increased risk of heart disease.
Physical exams, laboratory testing, and EKGs done at regular intervals initiate the screening. Further testing such as stress tests, echocardiograms, and angiograms may be utilized to identify coronary artery disease. Timely diagnosis may result in interventions such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery that is intended to prevent a heart attack. Medical malpractice occurs when the health care professional fails to diagnose coronary artery disease which results in a heart attack, which can cause permanent injury or death.
Use of Medications
Medication is used to prevent or control a heart attack. Some medicines include aspirin. Aspirin keeps the arteries open to continue the circulation of blood throughout the body. Another medication is digitalis which makes the heart contract harder and slows the rhythm of fast-paced heartbeats. ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitor is another medication. This helps control high blood pressure and protects the damaged heart muscle. Calcium channel blockers relax the blood vessels. It also reduces high blood pressure and chest pain. Blood cholesterol-lowering agents are meant to decrease the amount of LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
Reducing Heart Attack Risk
There are key steps to reducing your heart attack risk:
- Stop smoking
- Lower high blood pressure
- Reduce high blood cholesterol
- Lose weight
- Manage diabetes
- 1.5 million heart attacks occur in the U.S. each year resulting in 500,000 deaths
- More than 233,000 women die annually from cardiovascular disease
- Almost 14 million Americans have a history of heart attack or angina
- Costs related to heart attacks exceed 60 billion dollars per year
- A heart attack occurs about every 20 seconds with a heart attack death about every minute
Legal Help for Heart Attack Medical Malpractice Victims
If you, a family member, or a friend have suffered a heart attack and believe that it could have been prevented if proper medical care was provided, contact a heart attack malpractice lawyer at Finz & Finz, P.C., now toll-free at (855) TOP-FIRM to speak with a lawyer experienced in medical malpractice heart attack cases or simply fill out the Free Heart Attack Malpractice Case Evaluation form.