Proving a breach in the standard of care concerning the medical procedure involved is essential in guaranteeing success in an injury claim. The level and type of care relevant to the situation refer to the failure of medical professionals to sustain the necessary efforts, resulting in damages to the patient's physical condition as a cause of negligence.
In case of a heart attack, the errors of E.R. and hospital physicians in diagnosing it swiftly, or correctly, can inflict severe and potentially fatal consequences. Negligence is assessed through the standard of care applied in the specific treatment context in which the patient suffered an injury.
How Is the Standard of Care for a Heart Attack Established?
Medical malpractice takes place when an expert practitioner fails to provide the quality of care required by law through the use of reasonable and competent judgment. The failure of an individual or facility to provide sound services does not always imply that malpractice has occurred. Treatment has to fall below an accepted standard and harm the patient.
Heart attacks are often unrecognized, especially in women, who tend to present different symptoms and are sent home from the ER based on them not experiencing chest pain. Doctors do not perform proper diagnostic tests and women end up without the necessary medical attention. When a misdiagnosis is carried out, valuable time is wasted treating the wrong condition, or not treating it at all. Disregarding all possibilities accounts for serious deficiencies in applying measures within the standard.
The most frequent situations when the standard of care is not met are misdiagnosis, misread test results, overlooking the patient's medical history, and mismanaging treatments.
In the context of an emergency room, the setting can become stressful to those offering clinical services, rendering them highly prone to making questionable decisions for patients. Becoming the victim of a medical mistake signals a lowered standard than in other circumstances.
People going to the E.R. with heart attack symptoms are often discharged due to the predilection of health care providers to commit errors. These acts of negligence occur when emergency room physicians and nurses are in a rush, overworked, or continuously interrupted. They can also be the result of diminished resources or lack of experience in managing heart attacks, thus generating severe consequences for the patients and even death, because they do not receive the treatment their condition requires.
Breaching the Standard of Care for a Heart Attack
Failing to diagnose a patient's heart condition in time to provide life-saving treatment represents a breach of the standard of care. It involves physicians, hospital emergency room practitioners, and also cardiologists. Every situation is different, and such mistakes that a reasonably careful professional would not have made under the same circumstances include improper or unnecessary therapy, which can have catastrophic results.
In case a heart attack is diagnosed, medical care needs to be carried out effectively and immediately. The primary responsibility of hospital staff is to get the patient into swift treatment, as a delayed intervention may inflict permanent heart damage.
Diagnosing anyone with chest pains includes a series of standard evaluation tests:
- Careful analysis of the patient's medical history
- An electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Cardiac enzymes or blood tests
- X-rays and MRIs
- Stress tests to measure heart function
- An echocardiogram to record moving images of the heart
- An angiogram to search for arterial blockage
Emergency room specialists and interventional cardiologists need to perform exhaustive procedures and examine all available options to apply the proper care.
Treatment is administered through medication, non-invasive procedures, or surgery, depending on the severity of each case. Each method should alleviate symptoms, regulate the heartbeat, provide appropriate blood circulation, and protect the heart.
How Can The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary Help?
An inaccurate diagnosis or failure to treat a heart attack promptly are causes of negligence and represent a breach of the standard of care. Other factors include providing the wrong medication or disregarding test results or clinical history. The effects of such dangerous acts can have devastating consequences on the patient's health and are an acute display of malpractice.
We are fully prepared to pursue a medical malpractice case on your behalf, and prove that a specialist was negligent in offering you the right treatment for your heart condition. Our dedicated team of experts will review your case and provide quality legal guidance in obtaining financial compensation for your suffering.