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Delays Diagnosing Heart Attacks

About 1.5 million heart attacks occur every year in the United States, and about 800,000 United States citizens die from cardiovascular diseases each year, making heart ailments the number one cause of death for Americans. Heart attacks sometimes occur without warning, but often heart attacks are the result of conditions or behaviors which may be identified and corrected, decreasing the probability of suffering a heart attack. If you or a loved one suffered a heart attack that you felt could have been prevented, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP today.

A heart attack is any medical episode where the heart malfunctions and results in serious medical complications within the body, including possible death. Heart attacks can result due to many different medical factors, including high cholesterol, being chronically obese, habitually smoking or other natural medical maladies which may stem from a family history of ailments.

A visit to a primary care physician should include common diagnostic methods to assess the potential of a patient being at risk for a heart attack. Such tests include taking blood pressure, ordering an echocardiogram (essentially an ultrasound of the heart), looking for blockages with a catheter and taking a blood sample to measure cholesterol.

In some patients, such as those who are physically obese or those who have chronically smoked cigarettes or used other recreational drugs over the course of many years, the risk for heart attacks may be much more significant, so a doctor may be inclined to recommend medication to reduce the overall risk of a heart attack.

What Constitutes Malpractice After a Heart Attack?

If a doctor could reasonably foresee a patient as being at risk for suffering a heart attack, but did not take steps to prevent such an episode from occurring, or did not even warn the patient of their risk of suffering a heart attack, the doctor may be held liable for negligence which led to the heart attack. Likewise, if they prescribed incorrect medication which exacerbated the risk of a heart attack, they would be liable for this mistake as well.

Primary care physicians are most likely to be charged with malpractice, as they have the most interaction with patients and are responsible for assessing the overall health of a patient, however lab technicians may improperly perform tests or read results, which will lead the doctor to make a decision based on incorrect information, In these cases, the lab tech may be liable for the heart attack which occurs.

Heart attacks are terrifying and life-altering occurrences. They can result in patients being forced to go on a deluge of expensive medication, necessitate the surgical installation of a pacemaker or other heart machine (a costly, painful experience), or can result in the untimely death of a loved one. A medical malpractice suit may award you financial compensation to pay these burdensome costs and get recompense for the negligence of others which resulted in yours or a loved one’s pain and suffering.

At Altman & Altman, we have over 50 years of experience advocating on behalf of our clients in Boston, Cambridge and throughout Massachusetts who have experienced all different manners of medical malpractice. If you feel as though a heart attack could have been prevented by a more attentive doctor, or a lab test was improperly handled, or you were put on improper medication which led to a heart attack, you may have a good case to make and collect financial compensation.

Call us for a free consultation to go over the details of your specific case today at 617.492.3000 or toll-free at 800.481.6199. We are available 24/7.

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