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Misdiagnosis of Heart Attack

Syracuse Lawyers for ER Malpractice Claims Arising Out of Misdiagnosis

A heart attack occurs when blocks in a heart’s arteries reduce blood supply to some part of the heart. Both emergency room staff and doctors must be alert to the possibility that a patient visiting the emergency room is having a heart attack, particularly since that is a common reason people come to the ER or urgent care. If a heart attack is caught quickly, it can also be treated appropriately and in a timely fashion. When a heart attack is misdiagnosed and left untreated, a patient could suffer permanent disability or death. Unfortunately, some patients going through heart attacks wind up returning home without a correct diagnosis and at risk of dying. If you were subject to misdiagnosis of a heart attack, you should call the seasoned Syracuse ER malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys.

Misdiagnosis of Heart Attack in an ER

A thorough patient history can forestall some kinds of misdiagnoses. During intake and examination, the ER staff and doctors should be listening carefully to a patient’s history, in addition to their specific symptoms. While not every single heart attack can be anticipated or prevented, even by a doctor, the odds of a bad outcome are higher if staff and doctors are alert to risk and respond adequately to all potential diagnoses, whether by conducting a full physical exam, ordering an EKG or ECG, or testing a patient’s blood for the enzymes that accompany a heart attack. Sometimes a patient suffering a heart attack comes forward with complaints of only mild discomforts.

Misdiagnosis of a heart attack can result in severe and permanent harm. Even when a heart attack cannot be anticipated and prevented, prompt diagnosis and treatment can save a patient’s life from a heart attack misdiagnosis and/or prevent permanent injury. Our seasoned lawyers may be able to prove that misdiagnosis was medical malpractice if we can prove by a preponderance of the evidence: (1) the defendant owed you a professional standard of care, (2) the defendant departed from the professional standard of care in misdiagnosing a heart attack as something else, (3) the departure was the actual and proximate (legal) cause of injuries, and (4) actual damages.

An ER doctor might breach the professional standard of care, for instance, by ignoring some of your symptoms, whether chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, feeling of impending doom, and making a quick diagnosis that you’re experiencing heartburn by using only certain symptoms in the differential diagnosis. Similarly, if the ER staff wrote down your history of bronchitis and fails to note certain symptoms that would have caused an ER doctor to order imaging studies, they might be breaching the professional standard of care.

Young people and women, in particular, are frequently misdiagnosed when they come to the ER with heart attack symptoms. They may not fit the profile that the health care provider expects. For instance, if your mother went to the ER with symptoms the doctor failed to consider a heart attack or conduct a differential diagnosis because she seemed healthy and was a woman, it is important to talk to counsel about a potential claim.

Misdiagnosis could occur when a specialist is not called in to consult on a case when a reasonably competent ER doctor would have called one in. Similarly, misdiagnosis could occur because of a specialist’s improper evaluation of the situation or lab results. When evaluating an ER malpractice case, we will need to retain an expert to determine whether your prima facie case is meritorious. Along with the complaint, we’ll need to submit a certificate of merit attesting to our consultation. Experts may also be needed to be consulted on questions of damages.

Damages for Misdiagnosis

If a heart attack patient is not treated adequately and in a timely manner, their body may be irreparably damaged. They may suffer muscle damage, scarring of the heart, permanent brain damage, and readmission. Our lawyers may be able to recover medical bills, lost wages, replacement services, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and emotional distress. When a patient dies due to misdiagnosis of their heart attack and liability can be shown, their family may be able to pursue wrongful death damages.

Consult Seasoned Syracuse ER Malpractice Lawyers If you are concerned about liability for misdiagnosis of heart attack, you should talk with our seasoned Syracuse personal injury lawyers. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys has more than 30 years of experience seeking best results for harmed ER patients in Utica, Rochester, Oswego, Lyons, Albany, Herkimer, Oneida, Lowville, Cooperstown, Elmira, Auburn, Canandaigua, Buffalo, Wampsville, Watertown, Ithaca, Binghamton, and all of Upstate New York. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 315-479-9000.
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"I cannot express in words what an awesome job Charlie Falgiatano and Jean Marie Westlake did in representing my family in my mother's case at trial. There can never be enough thank-yous." D.L., Cortland, NY
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"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
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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
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"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