Did You Experience Emergency Room Malpractice for Heart Attack Symptoms?

doctors working on patient to avoid emergency room malpractice

A trip to the emergency room for a heart attack takes a person by surprise — bringing with it a sense of foreboding and uncertainty. In all the chaos, emergency room doctors have to assess, treat and care for you or your loved one immediately while keeping a level yet active mind. While most doctors react well under the pressure, sometimes they commit emergency room malpractice.

As dedicated medical malpractice attorneys, we have seen the impact medical negligence has on our clients and their families. If you have been directly impacted by a doctor’s negligence in the emergency room, we encourage you to speak to an attorney to plan your next steps.

Defining a Heart Attack

A heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction (MI), is a medical condition where the blood supply to a specific area of the heart is reduced or completely stopped. In most cases, a blockage of the coronary arteries will cause a reduction in blood supply and the muscles in the heart will begin to cramp. Prolonged cramping, also known as ischemia, may lead to necrosis, which is the death of cardiac cells. Once the heart hits a large stage of necrosis, it may kill or disable someone for the rest of their life.

The 5 Major Symptoms of a Heart Attack 

A heart attack is a serious medical emergency and needs to be promptly evaluated and treated by medical professionals. Sometimes, a heart attack is sudden and other times they start off with mild symptoms that develop overtime.

According to the CDC, the five major symptoms of a heart attack are:

  1. Chest pain or discomfort.
  2. Feeling weak, light-headed or faint.
  3. Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck or back.
  4. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
  5. Shortness of breath.

If you or a loved one experience any or all of the following symptoms, you should immediately seek medical attention to rule out a heart attack or other heart condition.

Examining Malpractice in Heart Attack Cases

If you visit the emergency room for chest pains or other heart attack symptoms, your doctor should order certain tests to evaluate your condition. The standard protocols for chest pains start with ordering an electrocardiogram (EKG) to measure your heart’s electrical activity, blood tests to check for increased levels of certain heart muscle proteins or enzymes, an x-ray of your chest and/or a CT scan to check for a blood clot in the lung. However, doctors may commit emergency room errors or fail to follow through on a proper diagnosis.

Emergency room malpractice may occur due to failure to diagnose, a rushed diagnosis, a misdiagnosis or a failure to treat. If your doctor fails to properly evaluate your chest pains and it leads to permanent heart damage or death, they may be held responsible for failure to treat.

Each case that comes through an emergency room must be properly assessed by conducting a brief medical history and physical examination. In some cases, you or a loved one will enter the emergency room in a rush and doctors will have to adjust their timing of the examination in order to act quickly and treat heart attack symptoms. No matter the speed in which they need to react to a medical condition, doctors still have a duty to abide by the standard of care and fully assess chest pains to prevent life-threatening emergency room errors down the line.

St. Louis’ Emergency Room Malpractice Attorneys

The unpredictability and rush of an emergency room visit is stressful enough for any person and their family. Emergency room malpractice where heart attack symptoms are present is especially difficult because choices are often the result of life or death of the patient. As St. Louis medical malpractice attorneys, we work together to stand up for you and your family in your fight for justice.

If you have been severely impacted by emergency room malpractice for heart attack symptoms or other errors, schedule your free consultation to speak with our attorneys.

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.

Contact Zevan Murphy today.

Schedule your free consultation