Did Your Doctor Miss your Heart Attack?

American Medical Association statistics show that one out of every three heart disease patients are misdiagnosed by their doctors. While some patients do present themselves at an emergency room with classic chest pains, tingling left arm and shortness of breath, many do not. In some cases physicians overlook some of the softer symptoms of myocardial infarction and send patients home without adequate diagnostic examination.

Some reasons a doctor might misdiagnose a heart attack:

  • Patient is female – women are far less likely than men to report chest pains. This can lead to either misdiagnosis or lack of care if the patient is never seen by a physician at all.
  • Symptoms imitate GERD (Gastro esophageal reflux disease) – some symptoms of heart attack are similar to acid reflux disease or other gastrointestinal conditions.
  • Recent physical activity – often emergency room personnel dismiss chest pain in patients who have just been working out or running.
  • Patient history of anxiety – while panic and severe anxiety share some symptoms with heart attack, some physicians make the mistake of assuming rather than examining.
  • Presence of mitral valve prolapse – in rare cases, the usually benign MVP can mask the presence of a more serious heart condition.

Medical misdiagnosis can lead to serious complications and even death. Today’s technology and information-savvy culture is fast developing a healthy mistrust of the medical profession, a field that once enjoyed near worship. If you feel you have been misdiagnosed, trust your instincts. Get a second opinion on your condition, and then call a medical malpractice attorney. Call the Palm Harbor Law Office of Paul B. Genet, P.A. at 727-538-8865 or contact us online.

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