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Failure to diagnose heart attacks in women can lead to loss

We've all seen that scene in a movie. A man suddenly grabs his chest, flinches in pain and drops to the floor. Bystanders rush to call for help, indicating that the man is having a heart attack. While these types of situations are very real, for some heart attack sufferers, the symptoms are not so obvious. This can be especially true for women, which is why it is critical that medical professionals conduct the tests necessary to make an accurate diagnose and engage effective treatment.

There are a number of symptoms that women can experience while suffering a heart attack. First is general chest discomfort or pain. Second, a woman can experience pain in the back, neck, arms or even the jaw. This pain may come on suddenly, or it may increase gradually. A third symptom is stomach pain. Some women may misinterpret this as heartburn, but it could actually be an early indication of a heart attack.

Fourth, women who are suffering a heart attack may experience loss of breath, nausea, or lightheadedness. Fifth, women may experience sweating at times when they otherwise wouldn't. This is a common symptom, so those experiencing it should be sure to seek medical assistance. Lastly, women in this situation may notice fatigue, marked by feeling extremely tired. This may be a sign that a heart attack has already occurred.

If these symptoms are conveyed to a doctor, then he or she should take the steps needed to accurately diagnose a heart attack. However, doctors and other medical professionals are human and thus susceptible to mistakes. When a failure to diagnose a medical condition, or a wrong diagnosis, results in additional harm, whether physical, emotional or financial, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be justified.

Source: WebMD, "6 Symptoms of Women's Heart Attacks," Lisa Fields, accessed on Jan. 9, 2017

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