Heart Attack Negligence

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If you would like legal advice regarding potential negligent medical treatment or diagnosis of your heart attack, call our Australian specialist medical lawyers today. You may be entitled to claim compensation for medical negligence.

Heart Attack Misdiagnosis

Most people are aware of the symptoms of a heart attack (chest pain, chest tightening, pain radiating in the arm) and immediately go to the emergency department of their local hospital. Once in the emergency room, patients may be overlooked or symptoms may be misdiagnosed as indigestion or a lung problem.

It is important that the patient’s symptoms of a heart attack are thoroughly investigated and treated within a reasonable time frame. If a patient’s condition is misdiagnosed or the patient is held for hours and hours without proper assessment/evaluation, then the hospital may be held liable for injury or death that is the result of medical negligence.

Acute Myocardial Infarction

Diseases of the circulatory system include coronary heart disease (also known as ischaemic heart disease) and stroke. There are a number of risk factors which increase the likelihood of developing circulatory disease. These include: smoking, obesity, and a family history of circulatory disease.

Coronary heart disease is a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. It is caused by a combination of atherosclerosis (the collection of fatty substances, such as cholesterol, that form ‘plaques’ along the lining of the coronary arteries) and blood clots. If the blood supply to the heart is reduced, this will cause chest pain (also known as angina) and if the blood supply to part of the heart is completely blocked, a heart attack or acute myocardial infarction (AMI) will occur. AMI results in damage or death of heart muscle.

A coronary artery may be completely blocked or partially blocked. A patient with a complete blockage should be treated in a timely manner with a primary angioplasty. Medication (such as aspirin, clopidogrel, beta-blockers, Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I), statins) may also be administered to reduce the risk of another AMI and heart failure.

Negligence Compensation Claims

Whilst the majority of patients who are admitted in Australian hospitals with chest pain are attended to and treated appropriately, a small handful of patients unfortunately fall through the cracks, and their treatment is below the standard of care expected of the triage nurse or doctor. The result of medical negligence may mean death, or lifelong injuries.

A medical negligence solicitor can investigate the circumstances surrounding your hospital admission and treatment, and advise you as to whether your treatment was appropriate. In circumstances where there is evidence of substandard care, you may be eligble to claim negligence compensation.

Contact our service to find out more.

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