As a medical malpractice lawyer, I have successfully handled a number of cases involving failure to timely diagnose and treat heart attacks. As more of America’s baby boomers are reaching the retirement age, more are suffering from medical conditions that require adequate treatment and care by competent physicians and medical staff. Individuals rely on these medical professionals to act properly and render the appropriate care to reduce the chances that a significant medical problem occurs.
A physician’s first and most crucial step in helping a patient suffering from any type of medical problem is a proper diagnosis. Once a proper diagnosis is made, the physician and medical staff can determine the appropriate steps to take to ensure the patient receives the necessary and adequate treatment and care for their condition. Unfortunately, when a doctor fails to diagnose and treat a patient properly, the patient can suffer serious and sometimes permanent injuries.
Recently, this was the case for a Louisiana man who has filed a medical malpractice suit against his doctor. The patient’s medical malpractice claim alleges that his physician’s failure to take the proper steps following discovery of severe heart conditions led to the patient suffering a heart attack and, as a result, becoming permanently disabled.
In the fall of 2009, the patient began experiencing problems with angina and numbness in his hands. He subsequently sought treatment from his physician, who recommended an angiogram and heart catheterization. The physician also advised the patient that if he determined stents would be necessary those procedures would occur at this time. On November 6, 2009, the patient underwent the heart catheterization procedure for two blockages in his arteries.
In his medical malpractice lawsuit, the patient alleged that his physician discovered a health condition that warranted implantation of the stents; however, no stents were placed during the procedure. Less than three weeks later, the patient was rushed to the emergency room when he suffered a heart attack. At this time, a stent finally was inserted to help control the damage. Unfortunately, the heart attack already had caused significant heart damage and physicians informed the patient that he would be permanently disabled. The patient claims in his medical malpractice suit that had the stent been implanted at the time of his physician’s earlier exam and procedure he could have avoided this medical disaster.
The plaintiff’s lawsuit also accused the physician of medical malpractice for failing to take adequate precautions and for failing to refer the patient to a vascular surgeon for treatment of the patient’s cardiovascular disease. A copy of the article regarding the medical malpractice lawsuit can be found here.
This case is just one of many that serves as a reminder for patients and their families that medical mistakes do happen when doctors fail to do their job correctly. Being diagnosed with any sort of medical condition is traumatic and difficult enough as it is. Patients should not have to live knowing the additional fact that their physician could have taken precautionary steps to prevent a serious medical consequence. Patients who have been injured as a result of a physician’s negligence, such as a failure to diagnose a medical condition, must understand their rights to compensation so these life-altering consequences do not happen to others.