Due to the severity of heart attacks, doctors and hospitals are expected to both look for the signs and symptoms of this condition, as well as to promptly use any tools at their disposal to treat a patient who has suffered a sudden attack. Unfortunately, the misdiagnosis or maltreatment of these conditions are frequent throughout the state, which can result in severe and even deadly outcomes for suffering patients.
If you or a loved one suffered a worsened medical condition after a care professional failed to properly assess or treat you, a Michigan heart attack lawyer might be able to help. By launching a thorough investigation into the root cause of your damages, a well-versed attorney at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. could work tirelessly to help you pursue compensation through each step of a civil lawsuit.
Proper Medical Treatment for a Heart Attack
In order to prove that a doctor was negligent, it is important that patients understand the proper treatment they should receive for a heart attack. There are many different treatments doctors and hospitals may administer. Which one is used will depend on the patient’s condition, as well as the root cause of a heart condition. A few possible treatments include:
- Aspirin and other blood thinners to prevent clotting
- Nitroglycerin, which will reduce the workload of the heart and help improve blood flow
- Percutaneous coronary intervention
- Oxygen therapy
- Cardiac catheterization
- Coronary artery bypass grafting
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Lab testing
- Cardiac enzymes
- Other tests, like a chest x-ray, may lead to the diagnosis of another condition like a pulmonary embolism
- Referral to a cardiologist or other medical specialists to avoid a misdiagnosis
When any of these standard treatments for heart conditions are not offered, it could mean the doctor did not act as another reasonable doctor would. If so, this might be grounds for a legal claim. A heart attack lawyer in Michigan could work to determine if a medical professional took the proper steps prior to a patient suffering their worsened condition or attack.
Why Heart Attacks Get Overlooked
Unfortunately, doctors and hospitals regularly fail to identify heart attacks, or the conditions that precede one. Instead of taking complaints seriously, symptoms or signs are often brushed off or incorrectly labeled as indicators of a less severe condition.
For example, a medical professional might state it is only muscle strains, indigitation, acid reflux, or even a panic attack that ales a patient. This type of wrongful diagnosis can be extremely dangerous, and, when doctors do not take the complaints of a patient seriously, even fatal. When a patient survives an attack, they might still suffer significant health problems that cause permanent disability.
Proving Fault for a Claim
In order to prove that a doctor misdiagnosed a heart attack—or mismanaged chest pain—there are four elements a patient must show in a civil lawsuit. These are:
- That a doctor-patient relationship existed
- That the doctor acted negligently, or failed to provide a reasonable standard of care
- The doctor’s negligence was the cause of increased injury, harm, or death to the patient
- The patient suffered significant harm due to the misdiagnosis
Once a Michigan heart attack attorney has established that a patient likely has a case, they will begin to collect the necessary documentation to prove a claim. This includes medical records, lab studies, and EKG results. The patient’s previous medical records and history is also important to evaluate the case.
A legal professional will also have to find a medical expert that can advise on the misdiagnosis and determine that another reasonable doctor would not have acted in the same way. Additionally, a cardiology expert will also be hired to prove that appropriate treatment would have resulted in a better outcome for the patient. In cases involving death, the physician expert is required to give the opinion that the heart attack would not have been fatal if proper care was provided to the patient.
Mismanaged Chest Pain
Because chest pain is a common complaint in hospital emergency departments, it is essential that the physician determine whether the patient is presenting with a medical emergency or has a less severe condition. Chest pain is a frequent issue in many malpractice lawsuits, because there are a number of emergency conditions that need to be considered for the patient. The obvious condition is a heart attack or other cardiac condition, but other conditions include pulmonary embolism, lung-related causes, gallbladder or pancreas problems, and other potentially serious conditions.
Despite these nuances, physicians are trained to evaluate a patient with chest pain, formulate a proper diagnosis as to the cause of that condition, and then timely treat the condition. When a patient’s complaints of chest pain are mismanaged by a doctor or hospital emergency department and result in injury, this might be legal grounds for a civil lawsuit.
Call a Michigan Heart Attack Attorney for Help
If you or a loved one has suffered after a medical professional neglected to regard and treat a chest or cardiac condition, you are likely to be traumatized and overwhelmed. However, while a claim cannot undo what has happened, a successful lawsuit can compensate you as well as help you recoup your losses and allow you to focus on your recovery. In cases involving death, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
A Michigan heart attack lawyer could help. By working tirelessly through each step of the claims process, a well-practiced attorney could prove to be a valuable ally. To get started on a claim, call a legal professional at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. to schedule a consultation.
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