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What Is The Standard Of Care in Case of a Heart Attack?

When a physician assumes care of a patient, he or she undertakes a legal duty to abide by a certain standard of care. The traditional standard of care is to exercise the degree of care and skill that a physician or surgeon of the same medical specialty would use under similar circumstances.

In heart emergency, time to treatment matters most, increasing chances of survival. For heart attack cases, the national standard of care is 90 minutes from door-to-balloon or the moment of arrival at the emergency department to intervention in the cath lab.

Most people who suffered a heart attack report feeling chest pains. The pain comes from the heart as its muscles start lacking oxygen. Therefore, when a patient comes to the emergency room with such a symptom, the first thing that ought to be done by the medical personnel on duty is a thorough review of the person’s history. The next course of action is to perform an electrocardiogram or EKG. The purpose of this is to establish the exact source of pain.

To ensure accuracy, the examination should be done more than once over a period of a few hours. Another important test is the one for cardiac enzymes. These are proteins that are re-released by dying heart cells. In normal cases, the level of these enzymes only rises 3-4 hours after an attack begins. Therefore, a second test should be conducted six hours after the first one. When any of these investigations are lacking, a medical malpractice case is justified.

A doctor's role is to help you get better, but what happens if your doctor’s carelessness injures you? In Florida, you can sue a hospital and a careless doctor for medical malpractice, but you’ll need to prove sufficient negligence on your doctor’s part before you can receive compensation. Every situation is different, that's why you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer right away.

What Is a Standard of Care and Why Is It Important?

Florida law allows you to sue hospitals and medical professionals, such as doctors and surgeons if they injure you. However, to obtain compensation for your injuries in a Florida medical malpractice case, you typically must show the following elements:

  • The healthcare provider owed a duty of care
  • The professional fell below or breached that standard of care
  • You suffered injury or damages that the law will recognize
  • There is a connection between your injury and the professional’s breach

For your Florida medical malpractice claim to be valid, you must be able to show that during your treatment, a health care provider deviated from the generally accepted practices and procedures used to treat patients who suffer from the same condition that you were being treated for. These generally accepted practices are referred to as the standard of care, the standard against which the actions of the defendant health care provider who you believe to have caused your harm will be judged.

Establishing the standard of care in a Florida medical malpractice case is a matter which requires specialized knowledge. That is why the Florida Statutes require medical malpractice claimants to provide proof of the standard of care in their cases by presenting the testimony of a competent expert witness.

Florida has adopted a national standard of care. Once the standard of care in your case has been established through the testimony of a competent expert witness, you must then be able to show that the health care provider who treated you breached that standard of care. You must also be able to show that the health care provider’s breach of the applicable standard of care caused the harm that you suffered.

The standard of care is an essential element of your medical malpractice case. If you have been injured as the result of a health care provider’s negligence, you must enlist the aid of knowledgeable and experienced counsel who can locate the expert witnesses that you need.

What Damages Can I Pursue Through a Medical Malpractice Claim?

You can pursue compensatory damages when a medical expert signs off on your claim and validates that a breach of the standard of care occurred and there is evidence for proving proximate cause.

Generally, there are two types of damages malpractice claimants pursue:

  • Economic damages, which include medical bills and lost wages
  • Non-economic damages, which include pain, suffering, inconvenience, etc

If you or a loved one is considering taking legal action based upon the negligence of a doctor, surgeon, nurse, etc, do not delay in consulting with an attorney about your legal option. Why? The statute of limitations for a malpractice claim in Florida is two years. Starting from the date of the injury or the date when you reasonably determined you were injured, you have two years to file a medical malpractice claim. To determine if you have a malpractice case please call our Miami based office today.

For questions and free legal advice to help individuals please call us

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.