Minnesota Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack/Myocardial Infarction Lawyer
When a heart attack, medically known as a myocardial infarction, is not diagnosed, it can result in catastrophic injury and even wrongful death. Many medical advances have been made over the years and hospitals and other medical clinics have established protocols to quickly diagnose heart attack symptoms and treat them. Still, patients are sometimes sent away without the proper treatment and they then have a myocardial infarction and suffer the devastating consequences. If you or someone you love has suffered from a heart attack that was not properly diagnosed, our Minnesota failure to diagnose heart attack lawyer can help you file a claim to recover your losses.
How are Heart Attacks Diagnosed?
A heart attack will cause severe chest pain, but there are other conditions that can also cause this pain. A myocardial infarction is an extremely serious condition that causes chest pain. As such, doctors must follow protocols that have been well-established so that they can diagnose a heart attack, or rule out the possibility. The most important parts of this protocol include:
- Nitroglycerin: If a patient visits an emergency room complaining of chest pain, nitroglycerin will be administered right away. Nitroglycerin can help open blocked arteries so oxygenated blood can be delivered to the heart. An EKG will be performed and if it does not show a blocked artery but nitroglycerin eased the pain, doctors must continue investigating to determine the cause of the pain.
- 12-lead EKG: An EKG is usually ordered right away when a patient visits an emergency room and is suffering from chest pain. An EKG can identify when a person’s coronary arteries are entirely blocked and can no longer deliver oxygenated blood to the heart. When an EKG does show this problem, the patient is then usually rushed into an angiogram procedure and a stent is placed. Still, it is important to understand that even when an EKG fails to recognize this problem, it does not mean the patient did not suffer a heart attack before arriving at the hospital. The blockage may have simply cleared.
- Troponin levels: A patient complaining of chest pain in an emergency room should also have blood tests taken to determine the levels of troponin in their levels. When the heart does not receive sufficient blood flow and cells in the organ begin to die, troponin levels will start to rise. The levels sometimes take hours before they start rising, so it is important that blood tests continue to be done.
When these measures are not taken and it results in a myocardial infarction going undiagnosed, it may indicate medical malpractice took place.
Other Conditions Caused by Chest Pain
When an EKG does not show a blocked artery, nitroglycerin does not remedy the chest pain, and the patient’s troponin levels are normal, doctors must determine if there is another condition the patient is suffering from. These conditions can include a pulmonary embolism and aortic dissection, which are equally catastrophic for patients.
Our Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Minnesota Can Provide the Sound Legal Advice You Need
If you or someone you love has suffered from a failure to diagnose a heart attack, our Minnesota medical malpractice lawyers can help. At Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman, LLC, our skilled attorneys are dedicated to helping families through difficult times, and we want to help you, too. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.