When a medical emergency happens, you put your trust in the care you get and the doctor treating you or a loved one. Unfortunately, while figuring out what happened and what to do next, a doctor can make mistakes and fail to diagnose the actual issue.

A heart attack can be misdiagnosed, and you might end up more at risk and needing more treatment, or worse. A Watertown failure to diagnose heart attack lawyer at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC, can help you put together a malpractice claim against a doctor who failed to properly diagnose a heart attack.

Missing a Heart Attack Diagnosis

How a failure to diagnose happens will depend on the condition that was missed and a doctor’s treatment choices. Those who suffer heart attacks might not show classic symptoms, and a particular individual might not present as a typical person at high risk for a heart attack. A doctor treating such a person might not assume that a heart attack happened or that further tests might be necessary.

Heart attack symptoms might seem insignificant or associated with other causes. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest, which can radiate to the back, jaw, throat, or arm;
  • Feelings of indigestion, choking, or fullness that seem like heartburn;
  • Rapid or irregular beating of the heart; and
  • Sudden sweating, nausea, or dizziness, as well as shortness of breath, anxiety, and weakness.

It is possible to misinterpret these symptoms, especially if you seem healthy.

But a doctor can fail to diagnose a heart attack for other reasons, too. A misread or faulty electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) can lead to an assumption of normal heart activity. A doctor can also misinterpret medical history and risk factors, concluding that something else caused the above symptoms.

If a doctor fails to diagnose a heart attack, then they might not recommend further testing. An initial physical exam can diagnose a heart attack, as can an ECG, but more advanced testing, such as blood tests for enzymes associated with a heart attack, might not happen. You need a lawyer familiar with medical testing and procedures if you want to hold a doctor accountable for failing to diagnose a heart attack.

What You Can Do After a Failure to Diagnose a Heart Attack

A medical malpractice claim falls into the legal category of negligence—someone not acting as they should and creating a risk or injury to another person. For doctors, malpractice would be making mistakes in providing care and not living up to the standard relevant to their field and training.

That standard is the duty of care, and for medical malpractice, the standard is the level of care that a similarly trained doctor would have given. You have to demonstrate what the standard is and that the doctor breached it by giving substandard care. You also must show that the failure to diagnose your heart attack led to further consequences—the concept of causation—and that those consequences are legally recognized damages, such as:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Our Watertown failure to diagnose heart attack attorneys can walk you through these legal elements and gather evidence for your claim, including medical expert testimony. A lawyer can also make sure that you file your claim in time, as Connecticut General Statutes § 52-584 prohibits medical malpractice claims more than two years after an injury or discovery of the injury (such as a delayed diagnosis) and no more than three years after the original incident (the failure to diagnose). There are exceptions to these time frames so it is critical to contact us as soon as possible.

Speak With a Watertown Attorney After a Doctor Fails to Diagnose a Heart Attack

A failure to diagnose a heart attack can mask your health risk and lead to worse outcomes. If you need a Watertown failure to diagnose heart attack lawyer, D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC is ready to help. With many years of experience, our lawyers can evaluate your case with a free, no-obligation consultation—either remote or in person—and help get you fair compensation through a medical malpractice claim.