Emergency room doctors and other medical providers should know and quickly respond to signs of a heart attack. Failing to diagnose a heart attack means that a patient cannot receive the care they need—and the consequences can be devastating.
If you suffered injuries or health complications, or if your loved one passed away due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose a heart attack, you have the right to take legal action. At Brown & Barron, we represent patients and their families in bringing medical malpractice claims against negligent providers and institutions. Whether you or your loved one suffered as a result of emergency room negligence or a specific provider’s error, our Baltimore failure to diagnose heart attack attorneys are ready to fight for you and the justice you deserve.
Sadly, thousands of cases of heart disease, heart failure, and heart attacks are misdiagnosed every year in the United States. Some studies have shown that more than 16% of heart failure cases are misdiagnosed in hospital settings, with the rate of misdiagnosis climbing to 68.5% in cases involving general practitioners referring patients to specialists.
Even more alarming, heart attacks are more commonly missed in women, especially young women, and people of color. The reason for this has been attributed to numerous factors, including the fact that many women and people of color present non-standard heart attack symptoms that differ from those commonly seen in white men. Additionally, studies have found that Black patients tend to receive different—and often less aggressive—treatment for heart attacks and other cardiac issues.
What Is Considered a “Failure to Diagnose?”
“Failure to diagnose” is a term used to describe a variety of diagnostic errors, including:
- Misdiagnosis: Misdiagnosis occurs when a medical provider provides a patient with the wrong diagnosis. For example, a medical provider who diagnoses a patient with heartburn when the patient is really experiencing a heart attack has misdiagnosed the patient’s condition.
- Delayed Diagnosis: Delayed diagnosis occurs when a medical provider fails to provide a patient with an accurate and timely diagnosis. For example, if a patient goes to the ER with symptoms of a heart attack but is not seen for several hours, their diagnosis will be delayed.
- Missed Diagnosis: A missed diagnosis occurs when a medical provider fails to diagnose a patient’s condition whatsoever. For example, if a patient goes to the hospital with a heart attack but is sent home without receiving a diagnosis, they have suffered a missed diagnosis.
All types of diagnostic errors can have serious consequences. With misdiagnosis, the patient does not receive the proper care they need and may even receive unnecessary treatments that could lead to lasting physical, emotional, and financial harm. With heart attacks, specifically, prompt treatment is necessary to prevent further damage and reduce the risk of fatality. As a result, a delayed or missed diagnosis can lead to serious health complications and even death.
HOW THE DIAGNOSTIC ERROR ATTORNEYS AT BROWN & BARRON CAN HELP
It can be incredibly difficult to prove that a medical provider or institution failed to provide the proper medical care to you or a family member. At Brown & Barron, we not only have the experience and resources to do just that, but we also have the dedication to continue fighting for our clients and our community even in the face of very complex challenges.
Our Baltimore failure to diagnose heart attack lawyers have helped numerous clients who suffered severe injuries, life-changing complications, and the tragic loss of a loved one due to medical errors and negligence. We understand what you are up against, and we know how to fight for you. Our diagnostic error attorneys can assist you with every aspect of your case, from gathering important evidence to obtaining expert testimony to communicating with the liable party’s insurance provider on your behalf. We are aggressive when it comes to negotiating and litigating claims, and we are always ready to try cases in court whenever necessary.
Suing a Medical Provider Due to Heart Attack Misdiagnosis
To prove your case, you will need to prove that the medical provider or institution failed to uphold the standard of reasonable care. It is not enough to prove that you or your loved one had a heart attack with poor outcomes following medical treatment. Rather, you must prove that the medical provider or institution failed to act properly, leading to your injuries or your loved one’s death. To successfully sue a medical provider for failing to diagnose a heart attack, you must prove each of the following elements:
- The medical provider or institution owed you a duty of care. Typically, this is implied when there is a provider-patient relationship.
- The medical provider or institution failed to act as another qualified provider or institution would or acted in a way that another qualified provider or institution would not have in the same or similar circumstances.
- You were injured or your loved one passed away, leading to measurable economic and/or non-economic damages.
- The medical provider or institution’s failure to uphold the standard of care was the direct or proximate cause of your injury or your loved one’s death.
In cases involving failure to diagnose heart attacks, failing to uphold the standard of reasonable care often looks like:
- Failing to recognize signs of a heart attack
- Dismissing patients’ symptoms
- Failing to order or conduct proper diagnostic tests in a timely manner
- Failing to provide proper treatment in a timely manner
- Providing improper or unnecessary treatment
- Incorrectly diagnosing a patient with heart disease
- Diagnosing patients with less-serious conditions, such as heartburn or anxiety
If you believe that you or your loved one suffered because of a medical provider’s failure to diagnose a heart attack, reach out to Brown & Barron right away to speak to our experienced attorneys about your legal rights and options.
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