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Every Second Counts: The Importance of Timely Heart Attack Diagnosis

Heart attacks are a leading cause of death in Ohio, and every second you wait on a proper diagnosis, counts. Unfortunately, even with advanced medical technology, medical providers can and do fail to diagnose or misdiagnose heart attack symptoms. In this blog, we’ll explore the complexities of heart attack diagnosis, the potential consequences of missed or delayed identification, and your next steps if your loved one passed away due to this diagnosis.

Every Second Counts: The Importance of Timely Heart Attack Diagnosis

Recognizing the Red Flags

While chest pain is a classic symptom of a heart attack, it’s important to remember that not everyone experiences it the same way. Some individuals might feel tightness, squeezing, or pressure in their chest, while others describe a burning or aching sensation.

Other potential warning signs include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Pain radiating to the jaw, neck, arms, or back

If you experience any of these symptoms, or suspect you are having a heart attack, you should immediately seek medical attention. You may not have time to delay treatment, and it is extremely better to be safe than sorry in this situation.

Understanding the Challenges

Diagnosing a heart attack isn’t always straightforward. Symptoms can mimic other conditions like indigestion, anxiety, or even shingles.

Additionally, factors like a patient’s age, gender, and medical history can influence how a heart attack presents itself. This ambiguity can lead to diagnostic challenges, especially for:

  • Women: Heart attack symptoms in women can be atypical, often presenting with fatigue, nausea, and shortness of breath rather than the classic chest pain.
  • Older adults: Elderly individuals might experience milder or no chest pain at all, making diagnosis more difficult.
  • People with diabetes: Diabetes can sometimes blunt the pain response, making it harder for individuals to recognize the severity of their symptoms.

The Impact of Missed Diagnosis

A delayed or failed heart attack diagnosis can have serious consequences. The longer heart tissue is deprived of oxygen, the greater the damage, potentially leading to:

  • Permanent heart damage
  • Increased risk of future heart attacks
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Death
failure to diagnose heart attack

Advocate for Yourself and Your Loved Ones

Time is of the essence when it comes to heart attacks. If you or someone you know experiences any of the warning signs, don’t hesitate to seek immediate medical attention. Remember:

  • Early diagnosis is critical for improving outcomes.
  • Advocate for yourself or your loved one if you have concerns about the diagnosis.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek clarification from healthcare professionals.

Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack Wrongful Death Cases

This is the worst-case scenario possible, but sometimes a failure to diagnose, or misdiagnosis of a heart attack can result in death. When this happens, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim against the medical provider to hold them liable for their negligence.

Wrongful death cases can be complex, and require additional steps than a regular personal injury claim. Only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can file a lawsuit. We highly recommend reaching out to a Wrongful Death Lawyer to walk you through your case and explain how the process works.

Get the Guardians on Your Side

At Tittle & Perlmuter, we have recovered tens of millions of dollars for medical malpractice victims, including wrongful death cases due to a failure to diagnose a heart attack.

We will walk with you every step of the way, keeping you updated on your case. At Tittle & Perlmuter, you will never be just another case. We will treat you like family, and make sure you understand everything that is going on.

Schedule a Free Strategy Session

We operate on what is called a “contingency fee basis,” which means you will pay nothing up-front. Instead, we take a final percentage of your settlement, or verdict for our services.

Call us at (216) 222-2222, or fill out the form below to schedule a free strategy session with a real attorney. During the session, we will help you determine your next steps, and if you even need a lawyer.