If you have been injured or your loved one has died due to a medical professional’s failure to correctly diagnose a heart attack, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys understand how to navigate these complex claims and can put our knowledge to use in your case.
A heart attack happens when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle itself is seriously reduced or stopped. Put another way, a heart attack takes place when there is inadequate blood supply to the heart. When blood flow is restricted, the heart muscle starts to fail, resulting in severe chest pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone dies from a heart attack every 40 seconds in the United States. About 20 percent of cardiac events are characterized as “silent,” meaning the victim is unaware that the heart attack occurred, even though the body is dealing with the detrimental effects.
In most cases, a patient will experience certain things before the onset of a heart attack, such as chest pain, left shoulder pain, nausea, fainting or light-headedness, cold sweats, and having difficulty breathing. In addition to these signs, certain patients often have higher risk factors for heart attacks, some of which include high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, lack of physical activity, and diabetes.
Physicians are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Simple blood tests, an electrocardiogram (EKG), nuclear scans, chest radiographs, and coronary angiography can all determine whether or not a person is suffering from a heart attack. If a physician fails to perform these tests, and you suffer harm caused by a heart attack, you will likely be able to file a medical malpractice claim against that physician. Malpractice takes place when the medical professional’s conduct falls below the accepted standard of care in the medical community and causes harm or death to a patient. To establish medical malpractice, the plaintiff must prove these elements by a preponderance of the evidence:
- Duty: the patient must show that the defendant owed the patient a duty of care. The easiest way to show this is to highlight that a doctor/patient relationship existed.
- Breach: next, it must be shown that the duty of care owed to the plaintiff was violated. A violation takes place when a defendant doctor fails to use the level of care that a prudent doctor in the same situation would have used.
- Causation: the patient must then demonstrate that his or her injury was a direct result of the defendant’s violation of the duty of care.
- Damage: it must be shown that the malpractice resulted in an injury. The jury will use a number of factors to determine the specific monetary award that would make the patient whole again.
If you believe that a doctor’s failure to diagnose a heart attack caused serious harm to your health or caused the death of someone close to you, we can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our Syracuse cardiology malpractice attorneys can examine every aspect of your case and provide you with an honest assessment of your claim. For years, we have helped clients resolve their personal injury claims, and we can help you as well.
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Wrongful Death Arising From Malpractice in Syracuse and Across New York, Syracuse Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 18, 2017