Over one million Americans experience a heart attack each year. Tens of thousands of Americans live to tell their experience. What determines whether someone has a successful recovery and may resume their life post-heart attack?
Well, a heart attack (medically known as a Myocardial Infarction or “MI”) occurs when arteries become clogged and block the heart from receiving the necessary oxygen. When damages occur because of oxygen deprivation, the heart muscle is permanently injured.
The amount of damage is mainly the result of two factors:
- The size of the area of the heart which was supplied oxygen by the blocked artery
- The length of time between the injury and the heart attack treatment.
Physician failure to diagnose heart attacks leads to nearly 11,000 unnecessary deaths each year. Even when a heart attack is not timely diagnosed there is a great impact upon a patient’s recovery. Signs and symptoms ought to be quickly recognized and diagnosed by a physician.
- Discomfort, chest pain, pressure, heaviness.
- Arm pain or pain below the breastbone.
- Sweating, nausea, dizziness or vomiting.
- Fullness, indigestion, or heartburn feeling.
- Shortness of breath, weakness, and/or anxiety.
- Rapid, irregular heartbeats.
We may expect dramatic gasping, chest-grabbing and stumbling from a person suffering from a heart attack. That’s what the movies show right? But most heart attacks are gradual and symptoms differ between men and women. A symptom-less heart attack exists as well, however, it is rare a heart attack occurs without some kind of warning sign.
Every moment matters when it comes to a heart attack. Even when the heart attack starts with only mild discomfort, the greater the delay of treatment the greater the heart muscle damage.
Diagnosing a Heart attack
Men and women experiencing heart attack symptoms often go to the Emergency Room. There, it is important for the medical professionals—including triage nurses, interns and physicians—to recognize the heart attack signs and pursue a diagnosis.
There are several diagnostic tests including:
- EKG electrocardiogram
- Blood Tests
- Echocardiagraphy Imaging
A failure to diagnose a heart attack results in nearly a 200 percent increased risk of death, one study says. A delayed diagnosis has severe consequences as well and surviving heart attack patients may face ongoing heart complications due to a physician’s diagnostic error. When a physician does diagnose the heart attack, treatment should be immediate.
Heart Wounds Heal
Although wounded hearts heal, the scar tissue does not have the same expand-and-contract capabilities as a healthy heart and necessary heart-pumping movements are stunted.
Our attorneys at Harvey L. Walner & Associates won’t skip a beat in getting the compensation you deserve when you or a loved one sustained an injury due to a failed or delayed heart attack diagnosis. Contact us today.