February 21, 2017

How is a Heart Attack or Stroke Misdiagnosed?

Unfortunately, patient safety has not been improving in the U.S. Despite renewed focus on health care quality, part of the problem is that errors continue to occur when it comes to properly diagnosing symptoms such as those concerning heart attack and stroke.

Human heart, anterior view, artificial valve, coronary bypass

Medical Facilities

Heart attack and stroke misdiagnosis more commonly occurs in the following areas:

  • Emergency medical care facilities
  • Family physician environments
  • Nursing care

Failing to properly diagnose pending heart attacks or strokes produces devastating and often catastrophic circumstances for patients.


The following are some of the symptoms that are often not considered which may properly diagnose heart attacks and strokes:

  • Arm or jaw pain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heart beats
  • Profuse sweating
  • Numbness or weakness


Time is obviously of the essence for physicians and emergency room staff presented with patients who are exhibiting or complaining of certain symptoms consistent with heart attacks and strokes. The failure to conduct necessary tests or provide attention immediately often means the difference between life or death.

This is why a seasoned medical malpractice attorney should be consulted if there is any suspicion that a failure to properly diagnose and treat heart attacks or strokes may have occurred.

When patients who are sent home rather than admitted to hospitals, even the best cases involve long term treatment that is far more uncomfortable and costly than necessary. The worst cases involve life threatening heart attacks and strokes, many of which cause permanent damage.


According to an injury lawyers New York based law firm, there are legal options available including bringing a claim against physicians, hospitals or other health care providers who are responsible for errors that have caused harm. This is why anyone who suspects that they have suffered as the result of a medical misdiagnosis should contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury immediately.

Professional medical malpractice and injury lawyers are trained to identify failures by emergency room attendants, doctors and other personnel to properly diagnose and treat heart attack and stroke symptoms.

They will review medical records of primary care and attendant physicians to determine whether a misdiagnosis occurred. Also, a thorough review of all hospital records is done to find out if nurses, physicians or other medical staff departed from the standard level of treatment and protocols that created serious pain and injury to the victim.

Medical Malpractice Laws

Every state has laws in place to protect patients. Any victim of medical malpractice or a form of hospital negligence has the right to be compensated for pain, suffering, injuries, medical expenses, lost wages and losses relating to quality of life.

In addition, medical malpractice attorneys and personal injury lawyers are specially trained to identify numerous cases involving medical diseases and illness that occur as a result of misdiagnosis. For example, meningitis, brain infections, hemorrhages, diabetic commas and common medication errors may also lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Those who believe that they or someone they know was misdiagnosed in relation to heart attack or stroke should contact a competent medical malpractice attorney for a free consultation. The attorney will establish if there is a cause of action to pursue. Only a professional malpractice lawyer or injury attorney can determine the best way to proceed with regard to this very complex type of claim.

Katie Hewatt is a legal researcher and contributing author for The Perecman Firm, PLLC, a personal injury law firm founded by David Perecman in 1983. The Perecman Firm consists of seven injury lawyers New York City based who have recovered over $200 million in settlements and verdicts for victims in the New York City area. If you have suffered a misdiagnosed heart attack or stroke contact the attorneys at Perecman, PLLC, for a free initial consultation.

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