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Misdiagnosed Heart Attack Information St. Louis, MO Area

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Misdiagnosed Heart Attack


Heart attacks are misdiagnosed by medical personnel more than 10,000 times a year in the United States – adding up to about one in 50 heart attacks, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. This type of medical malpractice is particularly problematic even in the case of mild heart attacks, because heart attacks must be treated within an hour in order to minimize permanent damage to the heart. Since heart damage can lead to more serious complications later on, it is particularly important that you contact a St. Louis, Missouri medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you suspect that you suffered a misdiagnosed heart attack.


Causes of Misdiagnosis

  • The patient suffers atypical symptoms such as indigestion or sleep apnea (not always signs of a heart attack). Because women are more likely to suffer atypical heart attack symptoms, they are seven times as likely as men to have their heart attack misdiagnosed.

  • The patient is young. Since young people fall outside of the typical demographic for heart attacks, their heart attack symptoms are more likely to be misdiagnosed, particularly in young women.

  • The patient’s ECG is improperly interpreted. Improper ECG readings are though to be responsible for nearly a quarter of misdiagnosed heart attacks.


  • Heart muscle death and scarring that renders subsequent heart attacks more dangerous and destructive.

  • Difficult and costly long-term treatment that would have been unnecessary if the heart attack had been promptly diagnosed.

  • Permanent brain damage resulting in significant impairments in physical or cognitive function.

  • Death. The danger of death is particularly acute if you are sent home after a misdiagnosed first heart attack only to suffer a second heart attack without medical personnel nearby.


Lawsuits and Settlements


In Missouri, although the general deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit is five years after the injury, in the case of a misdiagnosed heart attack the deadline is two years from the date of the misdiagnosis or the date that you should have known about it; if the misdiagnosis results in death, the statute of limitations is 3 years. It is likely that you will have to file a lawsuit (with solid evidence in your favor) in order to obtain an adequate settlement offer, because only the pressure of a pending lawsuit is likely to motivate the other side to take your claim seriously. In many heart attack misdiagnosis lawsuits, the primary evidence is expert witness testimony. It can be challenging to find a credible expert from among the ranks of doctors and other medical professionals who are naturally sympathetic to defendants rather than plaintiffs.


Putting It All Together

To win a medical malpractice lawsuit or negotiate a generous settlement, you will almost certainly need the assistance of an experienced and aggressive Missouri medical malpractice lawyer such as Alvin Wolff. Mr. Alvin Wolff has accumulated rich experience in medical malpractice law over many years of practice. He knows how to handle both skeptical judges and stingy malpractice insurance companies, and he will fight tirelessly until you receive the full amount of your claim. Call Alvin Wolff today at 314-241-2500 for a free initial consultation.

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