Essential Tests in Emergency Care for Heart Attack
When symptoms that start out as a slight tightness in the chest, discomfort in the neck and shoulders, or lightheadedness begin to worsen and become painful, which could be a sign that you are experiencing an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) – i.e., heart attack. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that someone experiences a heart attack every 40 seconds nationwide, for a total of around 805,000 people every year. Of these individuals, more than 75 percent are suffering an AMI for the first time.
Another important point noted by the CDC is that the sooner a heart attack patient receives medical care, the faster you can get the treatment you need to reduce damage to the heart muscle. There are certain tests health care providers employ to make an accurate diagnosis, so there may be concerns about negligent care if you were not properly evaluated. Talk to a Miami heart attack malpractice attorney if you believe you suffered harm, but you should be aware of what diagnostic exams to expect at the emergency room.
Tests for Diagnosing Heart Attack
Upon arrival at the ER with symptoms of a potential heart attack, health care providers should conduct certain diagnostic tests based upon your symptoms, physical condition, and other factors. You may be asked undergo testing, which could include:
- Assessment of your vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse, and temperature
- Electrocardiogram (ECG), which tracks electrical signals as they travel through your heart, and reveals any anomalies
- Blood tests, which may reveal the presence of certain proteins in the blood which appear after an AMI causes damage to the heart muscle
- Coronary catheterization, where a dye is injected into the veins to detect blockages
- Chest x-ray to allow physicians to view the size of your heart and assess the presence of fluid in your lungs
- Echocardiogram, a test that uses sound waves to determine whether areas of the heart have been damaged
Complications After Heart Attack Misdiagnosis
The primary concern with getting a quick diagnosis of AMI is preventing or reducing damage to the heart, which can be accomplished with various treatments. Without proper treatment, a patient may suffer arrhythmia, i.e., abnormal heartbeat that results from the damage to the heart muscle. One of the most serious complications after extensive damage is heart failure, in which the heart cannot pump blood throughout the body. If misdiagnosed or untreated, a heart attack can result in significant injury or death.
Discuss Legal Options with Our Florida Heart Attack Malpractice Lawyers
For more information on your rights and remedies after negligent care for AMI, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. to set up a free consultation. We can meet with you at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers to discuss strategies.