Complications and Questions Regarding Atrial Fibrillation Diagnosis
You may not realize it, but that fluttering sensation, racing heartbeat, and other discomforts can actually be symptoms of a serious heart condition known as atrial fibrillation (AFib). Experts at the Mayo Clinic in Florida describe AFib as an irregular or rapid heart rate that occurs when the upper and lower chambers of the heart beat out of coordination with each other. This condition can lead to serious complications, which is why it’s critical to detect AFib as early as possible if you’re suffering from symptoms. With the proper treatment and adherence to a healthy lifestyle, you can reduce the implications of AFib on your well-being.
However, getting an accurate AFib diagnosis at the earliest stages can be challenging. Some health care providers may not recognize the signs, which means essential treatment may be withheld. If this describes your situation, you should discuss your concerns with a Florida misdiagnosis attorney.
How do health care providers usually diagnose AFib? Often, a diagnosis begins when you report heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and other symptoms, prompting a physical examination by your doctor. He or she will check your pulse, blood pressure, and lungs, before getting down to the details on:
- The location or source of the discomfort or pain
- The type of symptoms
- The frequency of episodes
- How long an episode lasts
Plus, your health care provider should also review your medical history and family history to narrow the diagnosis to AFib – or to determine that your symptoms could be caused by some other medical condition. Typically, you’ll then move forward with targeted testing.
What are some common tests for diagnosing AFib? Physicians will frequently employ tests such as:
- Electrocardiogram, a non-invasive test that measures activity of your heart
- Stress testing, to analyze how your heart reacts to cardiovascular exercise
- An event monitor, which is a portable device that detects the presence and frequency of AFib episodes
Why are there complications in diagnosing AFib? Many misdiagnosis incidents result not from the testing, but from mistakes in interpreting the results. While technology is useful in detecting AFib, proper insight and analysis by a physician is essential for a proper diagnosis. In addition, it could be a critical error if your doctor doesn’t thoroughly investigate your family history.
How could AFib misdiagnosis affect my health? Living with undiagnosed, untreated AFib puts you at risk of many serious medical conditions and complications. You’re more likely to suffer stroke, heart disease, and other cardiovascular issues, any of which can potentially life-threatening. With an early diagnosis, you can eliminate some of the key risk factors and start taking the proper medication to reduce the effects of AFib.
Contact Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer About AFib Misdiagnosis
For additional answers and more in-depth information about your rights after an AFib diagnosis mistake, please contact the Miami medical malpractice lawyers at Freidin Brown, P.A. You may be able to recover monetary damages for your losses, but you’ll need experienced representation to assist with a medical malpractice claim. We can tell you more about your options after conducting a free consultation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers.