Heart disease has long been the leading cause of death in America for both men and women – taking the lives of approximately 610,000 people every year according to the American Heart Association’s latest statistics. Unfortunately, many of these deaths are caused by ineffective treatment by cardiology specialists, either in failing to detect, or failing to properly treat, a serious heart condition.
Although cardiology errors occur for many reasons, the most common cardiology malpractice cases involve misdiagnosis or surgical malpractice.Misdiagnosis and Cardiology Errors
Although sophisticated technology can detect many heart problems, misdiagnosis of conditions is one of the most common cardiology errors. Physicians may fail, for instance, to identify or control hypertension, coronary artery disease, aneurysms, or acute myocardial infarctions (a heart attack). Because these conditions can resemble other common ailments without proper medical attention, misdiagnosis remains a common cardiology error.Failure to Diagnose and Cardiology Errors
Another cardiology error is the failure to diagnose a condition at all. Although physicians are aware that high cholesterol, obesity, smoking, and diabetes are significant risk factors, they may fail to provide warning or adequate interventions. Failing to diagnose a potentially life-threatening condition is an avoidable but costly type of cardiology error.
Failure to diagnose a heart attack is a potentially fatal cardiology error. Many hospitals aim to treat a heart attack victim within 90 minutes; when effective treatment is provided, the vast majority of heart attacks are non-fatal. Unfortunately, cardiology errors persist in the practice of medicine when hospitals or physicians fail to diagnose and act promptly. Failure to identify any of the following signs of a heart attack can be fatal and is a severe cardiology error:
- Any type of chest discomfort, pressure, sensation of fullness or chest pain lasting more than a few minutes
- Pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck or arms
- Lightheadedness, fainting, nausea, shortness of breath, sweating
- Nervousness, anxiety, or cold, sweaty skin
- Increased or irregular heart rate
Although medication can provide great benefit to cardiology patients, at least one recent study shows that cardiology errors accounted for over 40% of medication errors. It is important to communicate with your physician and pharmacist and make sure the proper medication is given in the proper dosage. It is, however, the physician’s responsibility to avoid this type of cardiology error.
If you believe that a cardiologist has committed medical negligence in any of these manners, and that this mistake has caused you serious injury and/or cost the life of a loved one, call our team of lawyers for a free consultation.