The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released some startling facts about heart disease in the United States. They state that there are 600,000 heart disease related deaths in America every year, making heart disease the leading cause of death in the U.S. Additionally, there are a reported 720,000 heart attacks every year.
Experienced medical malpractice attorneys are aware of these numbers. We are also keenly aware that some of these heart attacks and heart disease related deaths could have been prevented. Specifically, they could have been prevented if the victim’s treating physician properly diagnosed and treated him/her.
According to the Mayo Clinic, proper diagnosis of heart disease and heart attacks involves the physician properly recording the patient’s medical history and performance of a physical exam. Looking for high blood pressure, abnormal heart defects, lung congestion, fluid accumulation in the patient’s legs and abdomen, among other things is what a doctor should be doing. Chest x-rays should be obtained; blood samples drawn, ECGs and echocardiograms conducted, stress tests, CT scans, etc. are also routinely used to diagnose heart disease.
If a doctor should have seen to it that these tests were administered, but failed to do such, then the doctor could be liable for the patient’s injuries. You should know that medical professionals are required to treat patients in accordance with the standards propounded by the profession within the community under which the professional practices.
A failure to diagnose heart disease is grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Frankly, any failure to treat a patient according the proper standard of care gives rise to liability if such a failure was the proximate cause of the patient’s damages.
Experienced attorneys will ask: what was the physician required to do? What did he/she do? Were the actions performed below par according to the standards of the profession? If so, then was the deviation what caused the plaintiff’s injuries? Finally, what are the plaintiff’s damages?
All of this will be proved at trial by use of expert testimony. Experts will testify about the standard of care owed to cardiac patients; they will testify as to the care received by the plaintiff; they will explain the deviation and causation; and lastly, an expert will provide detailed analysis of the plaintiff’s damages.
Medical malpractice attorneys are fully informed as to the legal requirements that need fulfilling in order to win a civil case; you as a patient should know the signs of heart disease. Be aware to the following: chest pain, chest pressure, burning, aching, etc. Shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, nausea, and/or palpitations are additional signs of heart disease. And never be afraid to ask a doctor to fully investigate the causes of these symptoms.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.