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How common are misdiagnoses of women’s heart attacks?

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

If you’re experiencing abnormal symptoms where you just don’t feel right all of a sudden, then it’s likely that you may skip your doctor’s office and head right for your local hospital’s emergency room. You expect them to have all the different types of doctors you’d ever need that could diagnose your condition.

Research shows that that may be a bad choice for women to make if they’re experiencing heart attack symptoms. Statistics suggest that doctors often misdiagnose them with anything but cardiac arrest.

Why do women’s heart attacks often go misdiagnosed?

Researchers have discovered the reason why doctors often mistake women’s heart attacks for other conditions. They do so because emergency room doctors aren’t often aware that women’s and men’s cardiac arrest symptoms significantly differ.

Men typically experience chest pain when they have a cardiac arrest. While that may also be a symptom women experience, they more commonly report having trouble breathing or nausea when having a heart attack.

Why are heart attack misdiagnoses such a concern?

You don’t likely need anyone to let you know what happens if a patient ends up receiving the wrong diagnosis, then is told to return home to convalesce. Even if a patient ultimately seeks out a second opinion, the damage that may be done if you receive delayed treatment may be irreversible or result in someone’s death.

Doctors have a duty to take a thorough medical history, do the proper imaging and run the necessary tests to come up with differential diagnoses. If they fail to take steps any other physician would reasonably undertake in the same situation, then you may have valid grounds to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit against them.