Claims Against Cardiologists and Misdiagnosis Leading to Heart Attacks Lawyers

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Heart disease is the leading cause of death here in the United States and around the globe. In 2016, there were over 121 million people in the United States with some form of heart disease, a staggering 48% of the total population. Over one million of those affected will suffer a heart attack every year.

Despite the fact that heart attacks happen at this frequency in our nation, cardiologists who treat these patients can still misdiagnose a heart attack, a mistake that can prove fatal if not remedied quickly. If you or your loved one suffered a heart attack and were misdiagnosed by a cardiologist, you deserve answers. The experienced attorneys at Thistle Law are here to offer you a free consultation and if someone is found negligible, help bring them to justice.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

When we think about a heart attack, we often imagine that there is a sudden onset of symptoms. While this may sometimes be the case, the symptoms often present more slowly, with only mild pain or discomfort to start. 

The most common symptoms reported are:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Jaw, neck, back, arm, or stomach pains
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest pain
  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea/Indigestion
  • Lightheadedness

While chest pain is a common symptom of a heart attack, it is not always present. Women are more likely than men to report symptoms such as shortness of breath or nausea, without the presence of chest pain or discomfort.

Who Is at Risk of a Misdiagnosis?

According to recent studies, between 40,000 and 80,000 deaths each year might be related to misdiagnoses at a hospital. One report states that: “...Diagnostic errors remain the most common, most catastrophic and most costly of serious medical errors in closed malpractice claims.”

Misdiagnoses can happen to anyone for any number of reasons. But certain populations are more likely to receive a misdiagnosis than others. These include:


  • Women: Women often present with nausea or lightheadedness instead of the chest pain a physician typically expects to see when looking for a heart attack. In fact, women are 50% more likely to receive an initial misdiagnosis, even if they have already suffered a heart attack. Women are up to three times more likely to die following a heart attack as a result of unequal care and treatment. Tragically, studies have found that when women received all recommended treatments, the gap in mortality between men and women decreased dramatically. 
  • African-Americans: A recent study found that heart attack patients who were black had a 45% lower chance of receiving medications and aggressive treatments that are normally prescribed by doctors for heart attacks. The study also found that heart attack patients who were black were more likely to fall into the two other categories of individuals who are more prone to receive a misdiagnosis; women and younger patients. 
  • Younger patients: Because heart attacks are typically viewed as something that only affect the elderly, younger patients complaining of symptoms of a heart attack are often misdiagnosed and not given the treatment they need. 


Woman often experience upper body pain rather than just chest pain as a symptom of a heart attack

Why Do Misdiagnoses Occur?

Misdiagnoses can occur for a variety of reasons in addition to the ones listed above. If someone has mild symptoms, such as nausea and fatigue, a doctor will likely dismiss the idea that the heart could be involved. Many times, a doctor will use an EKG to get an idea if a heart attack has occured. But we know that EKG’s can show normal activity even shortly after a heart attack, and are not the only tool a doctor should be using when making a diagnosis.

When a doctor, nurse, EMT, or other hospital staff is negligent in diagnosing a heart attack, it can have serious consequences including lifelong disabilities or death. Studies show that with proper training, time, and communication, misdiagnoses can be curbed. To prevent misdiagnosis, doctors and the healthcare systems they work for need to be held to the highest possible standards.

How Do I Find Out if Negligence Was Responsible for My Misdiagnosis?

Living with the consequences of a misdiagnosed heart attack can be devastating. The seasoned attorneys at Thistle Law have won over $3,625,331 in wrongful death claims for our clients, and are here to help you navigate the complex task of finding out who was responsible for your misdiagnosis and bringing them to justice. Contact our attorneys today by calling 215-525-6824 or by filling out this form

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