As American Heart Month draws to a close, a recently filed medical malpractice lawsuit underscores the risks that young women face from a heart condition known as spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) and also from negligent cardiology treatment.
Failing to Diagnose and Treat a Heart Condition
In a lawsuit filed by Sommers Schwartz attorney Matthew Turner, the 36-year-old plaintiff went to the emergency room complaining of severe, burning chest pain and numbness and tingling in her left arm and shoulder. Lab tests showed elevated Troponin levels, indicative of SCAD, which occurs when a blood vessel in the heart tears. SCAD can slow or block blood flow that can cause myocardial infarction and abnormal heart rhythm.
During her two-day hospitalization, no effort was made to explain the plaintiff’s heart attack. Although a doctor advised that the patient needed a cardiac catheterization, the procedure was never performed, a diagnosis of SCAD was never confirmed or ruled out, and the patient was discharged without being informed of the severity of her condition, the urgency of a follow-up visit, and the imminent risks of her unmonitored heart abnormalities.
A few days later, the plaintiff suffered a second heart attack, and it was determined that the cause of both heart attacks was SCAD. She almost died and is now unable to continue her chosen career path, have children due to the stress on her heart caused by pregnancy, or lead a normal life. She may require a heart transplant in the future and she will require lifelong medications and medical care to preserve her heart function.
“Go Red for Women” Throughout the Year
Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to bring awareness and put an end to heart disease and stroke in women. Statistics show that nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented, yet cardiovascular disease continues to pose the greatest threat to a woman’s health.
The AHA warns of the following signs and symptoms of a heart attack:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of your chest that can last more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest pain or discomfort.
- Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.
If you experience any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital immediately.
Experienced Cardiology Malpractice Lawyers
Even when women closely watch for signs of heart disease and heart attacks, the medical treatment they receive from cardiologists and other healthcare providers may allow problems to go undiagnosed or untreated.
If you or someone you love – woman or man – suffered a heart event that proper medical care could have prevented, please contact the medical malpractice team at Sommers Schwartz. We will investigate the facts surrounding your care and help you recover money for pain, suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and earning capacity, and other damages. The consultation is free, and there is no fee unless we win.