Dangers of a Delay in Myocardial Infarction Diagnosis

emergency room delays delay in diagnosing a heart attack

Understanding How the Delay in Myocardial Infarction Diagnosis Could be Due to Medical Malpractice


A myocardial infarction, or heart attack is a known medical emergency. A person experiencing a heart attack needs care immediately to avoid severe complications, or even death. While most physicians and other health care providers are well informed in the diagnosis and treatment of heart attacks along with the urgency in providing such care, there are times when patients experience heart attacks but are not given the proper care they deserve. When this occurs and it leads to complications, this is considered to be negligence. 


Why Do Myocardial Infarctions Occur? 


A myocardial infarction can occur for a variety of reasons. The main cause of a heart attack is when there is a blockage of blood flow going to the heart. The blockage can happen for many reasons, but often happens as the result of plaque buildup. The blockage of blood flow to the heart is quite dangerous as it does not allow oxygenated blood to reach the heart and circulate through, causing the heart muscle to die. 


Signs and Symptoms of Heart Attack


People with heart attacks may experience a variety of symptoms that may indicate they are having a heart attack. Symptoms of a heart attack can vary, but may include the following:


  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Jaw pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pressure (the feeling that something very heavy is sitting on their chest)
  • Profuse sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Feeling of indigestion


How are Heart Attacks Diagnosed?


Heart attacks are diagnosed with many different tests, including the following:


  • Blood work to check for elevated cardiac enzymes
  • Chest x-ray 
  • Cardiac CT/MRI
  • Coronary catheterization


If a physician fails to perform even the simplest of tests, such as an EKG/ECG on a patient presenting with heart attack symptoms, this is pure negligence.


Complications Due to Medical Malpractice as the Result of Mismanagement of Heart Attack Patients 


A delay in diagnosis and treatment of a heart attack is literally a matter of life and death. If the patient is fortunate enough to not die from the delay, they may suffer a great deal of other complications that may not be treatable. Examples of medical malpractice related causes include the following:


  • Failing to order the appropriate testing for patients exhibiting signs of heart attack
  • Failing to refer patient to the ER or a cardiologist if they seek care from their primary care physician
  • Misinterpretation of test results
  • Dismissing patients complaints, leading to a patient not receiving the care and treatment they need
  • Failing to realize that the patient’s symptoms are signs of a heart attack
  • Discharging a patient home who is experiencing a heart attack
  • Failing to properly triage a patient in a doctor’s office, hospital, or urgent care setting
  • Misdiagnosing the patient with something less serious, such as indigestion
  • Failing to properly treat a patient who is experiencing a heart attack


These are just a few of the many ways that medical malpractice can be to blame for the heart attack related complications you or your loved one experienced.


Delay in Myocardial Infarction Diagnosis


If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.


Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.


We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.

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