Can Atrial Fibrillation be Fatal? Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains

Is Atrial Fibrillation Fatal?  Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer Shares Information


Atrial fibrillation, also known as A Fib, is a type of an irregular heartbeat known as an arrhythmia.  It is a quivering or shaking of the heart that might feel like a flip flop, skipped beats, or banging inside of a patient’s chest.  This is because a heart with A Fib is not functioning properly.  Usually, the four chambers work in concert and efficiently pump blood into the heart, through the chambers, and back out.  However, with A Fib the chambers are not beating in the correct order or in unison.  This means that blood is not being efficiently pumped throughout the body.  Because of this, blood can actually pool in the heart or in certain chambers of the heart.  When blood pools, even inside of the body, it can coagulate and turn into a blood clot.  


A blood clot inside the body is obviously a very dangerous condition.  When that blood clot originates in the heart, it is very likely to be dangerous or deadly because major organs like the heart (coronary artery), lungs, or brain have priority of fresh, oxygenated blood.  This increases the likelihood of a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or stroke.  These conditions can all be fatal, and even if not fatal are likely to cause serious personal injury due to A Fib.


Diagnosing A Fib: Fast and Effective Methods to Prevent Wrongful Death


This is why it is very important to diagnose A Fib very quickly.  Patients who are experiencing a fluttering in their chest should get checked by a healthcare provider.  Sometimes a quick imaging, test, or study can quickly determine the presence of A Fib.  Common ways to diagnose A fib include the following:


  • Electrocardiogram – measures electrical signals from your heart and is the best way to diagnose A Fib, and it is not invasive and quick;
  • Echocardiogram – uses sound waves to produce an image of your heart which is then used to  watch your heart in action to determine whether the chambers are properly beating or if there is A Fib;
  • Holter monitor – this is a portable device which records your heart’s activity for 24 hours or longer, which can allow a doctor to look at your heart rhythms and assess events;
  • Event recorder – this is more specific than a Holter monitor, and is a device that you wear around and turn on when you feel the symptoms you are complaining about such as fluttering, pain, pressure, or related;
  • Blood tests – blood tests can be used to detect bloods or other issues such as thyroid problems;
  • Stress test – this is called exercise testing where you have your heart evaluated as you are working out; and
  • Imaging studies – x-rays and MRIs are useful in looking for other conditions and may help detect abnormalities in the actual shape or structure of your heart, as well as look for disease or tumors.


Why A Fib is Fatal


A Fib itself is not fatal.  But the conditions that is can cause can be fatal.  These conditions can snowball if A Fib is not timely diagnosed and treated.  As noted above the largest risk is clotting.  Blood clots in your heart are time bombs to the rest of your body which can really cause significant damage very quickly.  This includes a heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism.


A Fib can also result in heart failure.  This is because your heart needs to work significantly harder, faster, and longer than the heart is made to work.  This burns the heart out.  This results in heart failure which is usually fatal or leads to fatal conditions.


Were Your Diagnosed Late with A Fib?  Call Our Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer to Learn More


While A Fib itself is not fatal, it can lead to fatal conditions.  But it should never get to that point.  A Fib is very treatable with even just simply lifestyle changes!  Sometimes a medication routine is needed and can be weened off.  A Fib should not be something that causes any damage to your body if it is appropriately identified and diagnosed.


However, sometimes medical professionals fail to make the proper diagnoses.  Sometimes medical providers do not even perform the appropriate tests.  This can be Oregon medical malpractice, and victims should call Kuhlman Law, LLC for a free consultation with our Central Oregon medical malpractice lawyer.  


We handle cases throughout Oregon and Central Oregon, including Deschutes County, Redmond, Sisters, La Pine, Madras, Prineville, The Dalles, Hood River, Clackamas, Corvallis, Albany, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tigard, Salem, Portland, Hillsboro, Vancouver, Washington, Beaverton, Oregon City, Eugene, Coos Bay, Astoria, Newport, Pendleton, Tillamook,  Milwaukie, Gresham, Hillsboro, Medford, and any other city, including Bend, Oregon where our main law office is located, please call Kuhlman Law, LLC by dialing (541) 385-1999 to learn what your rights to compensation you may have.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to get you the answers you deserve, all for free.  There is no risk, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

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