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Failure to Diagnose Heart Arrhythmia

Syracuse Lawyers for Those Harmed by Medical Negligence

Many people suffer from some kind of cardiac arrhythmia. Some types of heart arrhythmia are minor, while others are quite serious and need immediate medical care. Failure to diagnose heart arrhythmia is a common kind of medical malpractice. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one because of a doctor’s failure to diagnose heart arrhythmia, the skilled Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to help.

Heart Arrhythmia

Heart arrhythmia happens if the electrical impulses coordinating your heartbeat are adversely impacted such that your heart beats irregularly, too quickly, or too slowly. Sometimes arrhythmia is experienced as a racing heart. To diagnose heart arrhythmia, doctors are supposed to review your symptoms and medical history. They may ask about conditions that trigger arrhythmia. They should conduct a physical exam and may also perform heart monitoring tests.

Tests the doctor may need to conduct in order to diagnose an arrhythmia include an electrocardiogram. The electrocardiogram involves sensors being attached to your chest or limbs to measure how long electrical phases of your heartbeat last. A doctor may use a holter monitor to record your heart activity while you do the normal things you due on a daily basis. In some situations, an event monitor may be attached to your body and you may need to press a button when you have symptoms so that your doctor can determine your heart rhythm at the time you have symptoms. Another device that might be used by a health care provider is an implantable loop recorder, which is placed under the skin of your chest. In an echocardiogram, a transducer is put on your chest. There it can use sound waves to take a picture of the motion, structure and size of your heart. Sometimes doctors use stress tests, electrophysiological testing and mapping, or tilt table tests to diagnose heart arrhythmia.

Sometimes arrhythmia is mild, but it can also be serious and life threatening. It can be associated with conditions like stroke, acute congestive heart failure, pulmonary embolism, or aortic dissection.

Failure to Diagnose Heart Arrhythmia

It is vital for your doctor to identify serious heart arrhythmias early on. In order to minimize the adverse effect of heart disease, early diagnosis and treatment are crucial. When a doctor fails to diagnose heart arrhythmia, serious injuries or even wrongful death can result. A failure to diagnose could be the result of a doctor’s failure to list heart arrhythmia in a differential diagnosis. It could also include physician communication errors when passing a patient to a specialist. It can also include errors made while testing the possibility of heart arrhythmia.


An early diagnosis of serious heart arrhythmia can be crucial to a good outcome. If you believe you weren’t diagnosed properly with a heart arrhythmia, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can review your case. Not every mistake counts as medical malpractice. To prove medical malpractice, you’ll need to show: (1) the doctor owed you a professional standard of care, (2) the doctor violated the professional standard of care in connection with diagnosis, (3) the failure to diagnose harmed you, and (4) damages. It will usually be important to retain a good, credible expert on the question of what the professional standard of care was and how it was violated by the defendant, as well as whether the violation is what caused your harm. A defendant health care provider may argue that you would have had the same adverse cardiac reaction regardless of what actions were taken to diagnose your arrhythmia properly.

When a loved one dies as a result of a failure to diagnose heart arrhythmia, it may be possible to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Often, when a loved one dies, family members face significant hardships, including economic hardships. Damages from a wrongful death award may alleviate some of the practical hardship, even if the grief remains.


If you can establish medical malpractice liability for a failure to diagnose heart arrhythmia, you may be able to recover compensatory damages. These can include both past and future economic and noneconomic losses.

Consult a Seasoned Attorney About Medical Negligence in Syracuse

If you have been harmed or lost a loved one due to a Syracuse health care provider’s failure to diagnose heart arrhythmia, you can consult a knowledgeable trial lawyer about whether a medical malpractice lawsuit could be successful. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents victims of medical negligence in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York, including communities such as Lowville, Watertown, Ithaca, Canandaigua, Binghamton, Oneida, Cooperstown, Utica, Oswego, Auburn, Herkimer, Elmira, Lyons, and Wampsville. Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY