Most of us have heard stories of a heart attack mistaken for indigestion or a muscle pull. Most of us have even heard stories concerning doctors and medical staff misdiagnosing a heart attack. These misdiagnoses are perhaps more frequent than one might imagine. It’s estimated that 1 in 50 heart attack victims are given a clean bill of health and sent home by ER doctors. Women are the most common victims of these types of failed diagnoses of heart attack. Rather than chest pain, women most often experience nausea or vomiting leading doctors to incorrectly presume a gastric disorder instead of a cardiac issue. This is precisely where diagnostic tests are so crucially important. A proper diagnostic test would determine whether the patient is experiencing a heart attack or another physical ailment. Unfortunately, some doctors rely on their own skills rather than ordering further tests.
In any case of a heart attack misdiagnosis or a heart attack failed diagnosis, the patient may suffer permanent and sever injuries including paralysis, stroke, and death. The wrong diagnosis involving a heart attack remains the highest medical malpractice payout of all the medical malpractice cases. In the past 10 years, the median jury verdict involving a heart attack malpractice case is just under $1,000,000. Perhaps malpractice awards are so high for the wrong diagnosis of a heart attack because healthcare professionals have many diagnostic tools at their disposal to either confirm a heart attack or rule it out. The protocols for treating heart attacks are well established as well. When a doctor or other medical professional neglects to provide an acceptable standard of care regarding a potential heart attack patient, it’s negligence.
In 35 years of representing consumers, Abramson, Brown, & Dugan has represented clients whose heart attacks have been misdiagnosed. They were victims of bad medicine who chose to come forward in order to protect others from suffering a similar fate.