Heart disease kills more people in the United States than any other illness. Early prevention and prompt, effective treatment is critical when it comes to avoiding or surviving a heart attack. Most people know to seek medical help if they begin experiencing chest pain, however, studies now show that chest pain is not a universally experienced heart attack symptom. In fact, what we think of as classic heart attack symptoms are not universally experienced. Additionally, it seems that these classic heart attack symptoms–crushing chest pain and pain down arm–may primarily present in men. This means that nearly half of all patients may be misdiagnosed or even fail to seek medical treatment due to the fact that the symptoms they are experiencing are not those that tend to be associated with heart attacks. To be clear, chest pain is still a symptom of a heart attack. It is simply not the only symptom, and many people who experience heart attacks do not experience any chest pain.
Women’s Heart Attacks are Misdiagnosed Half the Time
Recent studies reflect that doctors miss cardiac symptoms in women a whopping 50% of the time. That means that even when women seek medical help, they still have a 50% chance of being turned away or given an incorrect diagnosis. 62% of women who experienced heart attacks reported experiencing non-chest-pain symptoms. 53% of these women’s symptoms were dismissed by their healthcare providers as being “non-heart-related.” It is relevant that only 36.7% of men who sought medical care due to heart concerns had their symptoms dismissed as non-heart-related.
Other Heart Attack Symptoms
Some non-chest-pain symptoms of heart attack are shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, stomach pain, and palpitations in the chest. If you are experiencing these symptoms, even if you are not sure if they are related to your heart, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. If you seek medical attention and your doctor refuses to test you or dismisses your concerns, you can ask that they document your concern and their refusal to perform the requested tests in your chart. Many times, this will get them to reconsider. You can also seek a second opinion. In the event that delayed treatment, misdiagnosis, or failure to treat result in a heart attack or other harm that could have otherwise been avoided, you can bring a medical malpractice claim to recover for all harm associated with the medical malpractice.
Talk to an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you have suffered injury due to a doctor or medical establishment’s negligence or malpractice, the experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys at Durham Law Group, P.C. are ready to help you fight to get the compensation that you are entitled to. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.