Heart attacks can be misdiagnosed in both men and women, often with fatal or at least serious consequences. However, studies have found that this happens far more often to women, so they have a much greater risk of falling victim to a serious diagnostic mistake that alters their lives.
After all, a misdiagnosis could lead to improper treatment, or doctors could send a patient actively having a heart attack home when they needed to remain in the hospital. By the time doctors that mistake, it may be too late to save a person’s life.
Overlapping symptoms give way to misdiagnoses
One of the main reasons for these diagnostic errors is that doctors tend to look for chest pain as the leading indicator of a heart attack. In men, it is. In women, though, they often report nausea, dizziness and sweating more than chest pain.
The symptoms women experience could make a doctor think that someone has the flu or food poisoning when they are actually having a heart attack. The doctor may simply send them home with a recommendation that they take mild painkillers and get some rest while focusing on hydration. If the person is really having a heart attack and needs extensive care, though, these orders from the doctor could just cause them to ignore serious symptoms and pass away at home.
Have you lost a loved one due to a diagnostic error?
Diagnostic errors are just one example of how a doctor can make a mistake that changes the course of your entire life, perhaps costing the life of a spouse or a loved one. If this happens, you need to know what rights you have to compensation for funeral costs, lost wages, and much more.