Dedicated, Determined, Committed
Personal Injury Lawyers with a Personal Touch
Our attorneys provide experienced legal representation for individuals and families suffering as a result of medical professionals’ failure to diagnose and treat heart attacks.
Experienced Malpractice Lawyers Serving all of Tampa and Plant CityEvery year, nearly 750,000 Americans have a heart attack. Roughly two-thirds of these are first attacks, while more than 200,000 people suffer a second or subsequent heart attack each year. Approximately one out of every 20 heart attacks is fatal. This means that tens of thousands of people in the United States die from heart attacks on an annual basis, while hundreds of thousands more suffer from life-changing medical conditions. While heart disease has many possible causes, in many cases heart attacks can – and should – be prevented with appropriate medical care. Similarly, with a timely diagnosis, the consequences of a heart attack can often be substantially mitigated. If you or a loved one sought treatment for heart disease or a heart attack and received an inaccurate diagnosis or improper treatment, you may be entitled to compensation for medical malpractice.
Typical Symptoms of a Heart AttackMost individuals who have heart attacks experience similar types of symptoms. Although the severity and specific presentation may vary from one patient to the next, doctors should generally know that the following are all warning signs of a possible heart attack:
- Chest pain
- Discomfort or pain in the arms, back, jaw, neck, or shoulder
- Feeling faint or lightheaded
- Feeling weak
- Shortness of breath
Of course, these can all be symptoms of other medical conditions as well. However, doctors are held to a high standard to use patients’ symptoms and the other information available in order to make a correct diagnosis.
Atypical Heart Attack SymptomsIn addition to the typical symptoms of a heart attack, many patients will exhibit certain atypical symptoms as well. In some cases, patients may exhibit atypical symptoms without experiencing any of the typical symptoms listed above. As a result, doctors treating these patients must also exercise care not to rule out a heart attack for complaints of symptoms such as:
- Feeling flushed
- Heaviness of the arms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Trouble sleeping
In any case, patients who seek medical treatment and do not receive a proper evaluation, diagnosis, and/or treatment are potentially eligible to seek compensation for their resulting medical bills and other losses.
Failure to Diagnose and Treat Heart AttacksThere are many different medical errors relating to diagnosis and treatment of heart attacks that can justify claims for compensation. Some of the most common forms of medical malpractice relating to heart attacks include the following:
- Failure to perform an electrocardiogram (EKG) or other necessary tests to diagnose a heart attack
- Failure to properly screen for heart attacks in high-risk patients
- Failure to identify heart attack risks disclosed in test results and scans
- Misinterpretation of test results
- Failure to communicate abnormal test results
- Misdiagnosis of the patient’s condition
- Failure to advise a patient of a heart attack risk identified during a test or scan
- Inadequate monitoring of patients who exhibit risk factors for heart attacks
Whether these or other errors rise to the level of medical negligence depends to a certain extent on the specific circumstances involved. This is because the “standard of care” that doctors must meet can vary. To avoid liability for their mistakes, doctors and hospitals will typically argue that they met the applicable standard of care, and that there was nothing they could have done in order to prevent the patient’s heart attack. They may even try to assign blame to the patient for waiting too long to seek treatment for their condition.At JFSW Law, we have extensive experience representing heart attack victims and their families in claims for medical malpractice. JFSW Law partner Phillip W. Farthing, M.D., J.D. plays a critical role in this process. As a result of our experience, we are intimately familiar with the legal and medical principles involved in these complex cases, and we are able to present strong cases for securing deserved compensation for our clients.