Delay in the Diagnosis of Heart Attack

emergency room delays delay in diagnosing a heart attack

Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains Why the Delay in Diagnosis of a Heart Attack Can be Serious or Even Fatal


Most everyone knows that a heart attack is a medical emergency. Heart attacks require prompt medical treatment in order to prevent cardiac damage and death. While most physicians know the seriousness of a heart attack and take heart attack symptoms quite seriously, unfortunately there are times when healthcare providers fail to identify and treat a heart attack due to pure negligence. When this happens, it could lead to catastrophic damage to the patient or even death. Victims who suffered a delay in diagnosis in Oregon should contact our Oregon delay in heart attack diagnosis lawyers about how they can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. 


Hospital staff will not willingly tell you or your loved ones that the cardiac damage or death was a result of their negligent care. Instead most providers will not be forthcoming with the truth and instead will tell you that the damage was from the heart attack. While this can be the truth, this is not always the case. Delays in diagnosing and treating a heart attack can have fatal or lifelong consequences for the patient. 


What is a Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)? 


A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked, usually due to a blood clot which often is caused by plaque buildup. This is extremely dangerous because it stops the flow of oxygenated blood from circulating through the heart. As a result of this, it causes the heart muscle to die which can lead to permanent damage or death. Time is certainly of the essence when it comes to diagnosing and treating a heart attack. 


While most people think of a heart attack involving chest pain, shoulder pain, jaw pain, and fatigue, other times the patient may have feel generally ill (weakness, sweating, fatigue) or may even present with very little symptoms. This is why it is of the utmost importance for the health care provider to thoroughly assess and promptly diagnose a heart attack. If they attribute these symptoms to something else without further investigating, the patient could be sent home to die. 


How is a Heart Attack Diagnosed? 


According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common tests for the diagnosis of heart attack include:


  • EKG
  • Blood work 
  • Echocardiogram
  • Cardiac CT/MRI
  • Coronary catheterization
  • Chest X-ray


How is a Heart Attack Treated?


According to the American Heart Society, treatment for heart attack depends on the degree of blockage you are experiencing. The most common treatments include the following:


  • Administration of clot-dissolving drugs
  • Surgery
  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Bypass surgery
  • Cardiomyoplasty
  • Heart transplant 
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Artificial heart valve surgery
  • Laser angioplasty
  • Angioplasty
  • Atherectomy
  • Stent procedure
  • Transmyocardial revascularization (TMR)
  • Medication Therapy


Reasons Why a Heart Attack Diagnosis Could Be Delayed Due to Medical Malpractice


While most physicians and other medical staff can properly diagnosis and treat a heart attack, sometimes the patients who have more subtle symptoms are overlooked. Oregon law states that providers who fail to diagnose a heart attack (whether symptoms are subtle or classic symptoms are present) may be liable for damages due to the patient not receiving proper timely treatment as a result of their delay in diagnosis. Common examples of instances in which Oregon medical malpractice occur include: 


  • Failing to properly triage the patient
  • Failing to order proper diagnostic tests (i.e. EKG, BNP)
  • Leaving a patient with heart attack symptoms unattended
  • Failure to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack
  • Discharging a patient who is having heart attack symptoms
  • Misinterpreting diagnostic test results (i.e. EKGs)
  • Negligent staffing in regard to having novice or untrained staff


These are just a few examples in which a heart attack can be missed due to pure negligence in part by the medical staff. There are many other reasons why a heart attack can be missed so our Oregon Medical Malpractice lawyers encourage you to call us today so we can review your case. 


How Our Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers Can Help You


Our Oregon delay in heart attack diagnosis lawyers know just how serious and negligent the delay in diagnosing a heart attack can be. No one should ever suffer at the hands of a health care provider due to the delay in diagnosis of heart attack. If you or your loved one is a victim of a delay in the diagnosis of a heart attack and suffered permanent damage or death, you may be eligible for compensation. Compensation can include pain and suffering, lost earnings, lost future earnings, and medical bills amongst many other indications for damages. Our Oregon delay in diagnosis of heart attack lawyers are here and ready to help you get the justice and compensation you and your loved ones deserve. 


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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