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Heart attack symptoms and misdiagnosis


At some point in our lives nearly all of us are going to face challenges to our health. We are lucky enough to live in a country, and a state, where healthcare knowledge and technologies have advanced to the point that many medical conditions can be adequately treated and, in many cases, cured. However, when it comes to serious illnesses and conditions, early diagnosis is key. Although medical professionals have the ability to catch these potentially deadly conditions quick enough to save patients, all too often they make fatal mistakes.

Heart attacks, for example, can be fatal, but patients can also be saved if they are treated quickly enough. But doctors and nurses sometimes misinterpret symptoms, thus delaying care and allowing the heart attack to take its toll. So, what are the symptoms of a heart attack?

Though many of us think of a heart attack as something that hits us suddenly, the truth is that many times the onset is slow. It can start with mild chest discomfort that feels like squeezing or fullness and is sometimes accompanied by pain. A heart attack may also cause discomfort in other parts of the body, such as the arms, neck or jaw. Heart attack sufferers may also experience shortness of breath, cold sweats, lightheadedness or nausea.

Those who experience any of these symptoms should immediately seek medical treatment. Yet, those who show up at a hospital or doctor's office with these symptoms and there is a missed diagnosis of the heart attack can be left with significant losses. Sometimes, families even lose a loved one to this type of negligence. Though a lawsuit may not bring a loved one back or fully repair the damage caused by medical malpractice, it may help alleviate some financial woes that often follow these types of tragedies.

Source: American Heart Association, "Warning Signs of a Heart Attack," accessed on Oct. 22, 2015

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