The heart is one of the most important organs in the body, which is why it is categorized as a “vital organ.” It follows then that any problems with this organ have the potential to cause serious injuries. According to the CDC, 785,000 people have an initial heart attack and 470,000 have a second heart attack each year in the United States. Additionally, approximately 50% of all cardiac deaths occur before emergency services are administered (i). According to a study from the Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America, up to 8% of cases of acute myocardial infarction are “missed.” These cases of misdiagnosis and delayed or failed diagnosis are “one of the top reasons for litigation against emergency physicians” (ii). A person who has suffered a heart attack because hospital staff did not recognize the signs and symptoms in time, should talk to a medical malpractice attorney about seeking compensation for hospital bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
On September 3, 2013, a USA Today article addressed the prevalence of heart disease in America. According to the article, 800,000 people die each year due to heart disease but as many as 200,000 of these deaths could be avoided through lifestyle changes. These changes include “stopping smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, doing more physical activity, eating less salt and managing their high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.” One step that people can take towards preventing these unnecessary deaths is to know the signs and symptoms of heart attacks. Early intervention increases the likelihood of positive outcomes. According to the article, “most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. It may include shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort” (iii).
The failure to diagnose heart attacks infographic lists the signs and symptoms of this condition and highlights the need to act quickly. The informational graphic also lists common diagnosis errors and damages injured patients may be able to recover. d’Oliveira & Associates exclusively practices injury and disability law. The legal staff at the firm is dedicated to helping injured people throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The law firm also works with some of the more experienced medical malpractice lawyers and there are no legal fees unless a settlement or award is obtained. To contact the firm call 1-800-992-6878 or submit a contact form online.
- (i) Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
- (ii) Pitfalls in the Emergency Department Diagnosis of Acute Myocardial Infarction.
- (iii) USA Today, September 3, 2013.