Delayed Heart Attack Diagnosis
A doctor has a few major duties to his or her patients. In particular, providing a correct diagnosis before unnecessary complications occur should be considered a priority for all physicians. This can prove to be a serious issue depending on the health concern at hand, and specifically can be life-threatening in cases of slow heart attack diagnoses. Aside from the cardiac and neurological, there are few systems in the human body that need such immediate and emergency care if they are damaged.
Considering that many patients can recognize the signs of a heart attack if symptoms are visible, it should be expected that physicians are not only capable of recognizing the top killer in America, but they should have immediate concerns if any potential symptoms are present. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cite that over 600,000 Americans died in 2007 due to heart disease, in which heart attack can easily play a role as the final fatal cause.
If a doctor is not quick to diagnose this problem, the deterioration of health can progress rapidly until the major functions of the heart are too damaged to be effectively repaired. A heart attack is defined as the failure of blood flow into certain areas of the heart. This throws off the circulatory system, causing cells to die in the heart. Without proper blood or air circulation, the muscle of the heart withers away, causing a failure in the circulatory system that can lead to death.
Diagnosis of a heart attack requires physicians to note symptoms, patient history, and readings from an electrocardiogram and blood tests. If symptoms such as chest pain are not only present, but link directly to a family history of heart disease or a personal history of obesity, smoking, or high stress, doctors have more than probable cause to test for heart cell damage.
To learn more about a patient’s right to a prompt diagnosis in times of crisis, contact a medical malpractice attorney.