Not only does misdiagnosis of cardiac patients in California put millions of patients at risk of harm, but it also wastes a lot of money. Medical malpractices that stem from misdiagnosis are avoidable. Coronary heart diseases are the leading cause of death in most parts of the country, but it’s likely that some of these deaths could be avoided if doctors made more accurate diagnoses.
Medical personnel involved in the diagnosis
If you complain of sudden chest pains and are rushed to the emergency room, it’s likely that multiple people will attend to you. From the time you are bundled into the back of an ambulance to the time you are handed over to nurses at the emergency room, several medical professionals will attend to you. They include:
- Triage nurses
- Ambulance nurses and attendants
- Consulting physicians and medical students
- Emergency room doctors
If you experience the classic symptoms of cardiac arrest, which usually includes chest pains, most medical professionals are quick to declare it a heart attack. However, it could be another cardiac problem, or you might be having a heart attack and get misdiagnosed for something else depending on your symptoms. Mistakes could cost a life, so a medical malpractice claim might follow a misdiagnosis.
Reasons why heart attack victims suffer from misdiagnosis
The main reason why heart attack victims are often misdiagnosed is that they usually present symptoms similar to other heart conditions. Such symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and vomiting
- Back pain
Men typically experience pain between the shoulder blades, arm, neck, jaw and chest. Unfortunately, female heart attack patients are often misdiagnosed with anxiety, emotional problems or psychological issues.
Consequences of a cardiac arrest misdiagnosis
Failure of medical personnel to make a correct, timely and accurate diagnosis can have fatal consequences. In fact, the risk of death doubles with misdiagnosis.
Diagnosing a heart attack may be challenging, especially in women considering the different symptoms they present compared to men. Even then, medical personnel must aim to make an accurate diagnosis to save lives. A medical professional who fails to live up to this standard of care might face a malpractice lawsuit.