Chest pains are something that every medical professional should take seriously since that is a sign of a heart attack. When the chest pains are coupled with dizziness or other symptoms, extra care is needed to ensure that the patient is properly cared for because cardiac issues are a probable cause of the symptoms. Failing to take these symptoms seriously can lead to devastating issues for the patient.
One man went to St. Vincent’s Medical Center with dizziness and chest pain as the presenting symptoms on May 12, 2009. The man had a normal EKG and discharged himself from the medical center. He then returned to the hospital after a few hours with a primary complaint of chest pains. Again, the EKG was normal and a stress test was unremarkable. He was given a prescription for acid reflux and told to go in for a follow up in four weeks. He was discharged from the hospital.
The man was pronounced dead on May 30 of that same year after he was taken to Griffin Hospital via ambulance. He died of a heart attack. His widow opted to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice.
That lawsuit claims that the medical tests weren’t interpreted correctly. It also states he should have had other tests done, which allegedly would have shown he was at an imminent risk of having a heart attack.
That widow was recently awarded $2.4 million after a Superior Court jury deliberated for three days. The jury held two Connecticut Heart & Vascular Center liable for the 61-year-old man’s death.
Doctors have a duty to ensure that patients get a proper diagnosis. When a delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose leads to patient harm, seeking compensation is often a chosen course of action. Knowing the process and understanding the finer points of seeking compensation can help complainants along the way.
Source: CT Post, “Shelton widow awarded $2.5 million in malpractice case,” Daniel Tepfer, June 27, 2015