Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Another doctor misdiagnosis signs of heart disease

We recently wrote about a Pennsylvania man dying of a heart attack after a doctor failed to diagnose his medical condition. This resulted in a jury returning a verdict of $6.4 million.

A similar incident trial was heard in a neighboring state where a 31-year old man that died of a massive and sudden heart attack as well. Though the jury in that other matter remained deadlocked, the doctor accused of a medical misdiagnosis settled out with the family for an undisclosed financial settlement.

It is alleged that the treating doctor failed to conduct a medical history for his patient, or order an electrocardiogram. And despite a variety of warning signs, the doctor also failed to refer the patient to a cardiologist. After this relatively young man complained of chest pains, the doctor diagnosed him with rib-cartilage inflammation. Unfortunately, the man instead died of coronary-artery disease within the next three months.

Medical malpractice cases require delicate handling because of the nature of such lawsuits. It is not always easy to describe the medical diagnosis of an individual in a manner that is understandable for a jury. Also, when bringing a lawsuit against a licensed medical doctor, it requires medical understanding on the part of the attorney cross-examining such a doctor.

Whatever the circumstances, we cannot afford to allow for doctors to misdiagnose something as significant as heart disease. In the above matter, though the deceased individual was suffering from chest pain. And though he mentioned a history of coronary-artery disease in his own family, the doctor failed to diagnose that any possible heart condition existed.

Doctors need to listen to their patients. A 31-year old man should not present with the symptoms he did and go home without medical treatment.

Source: Vindy.com, "Malpractice case ends in mistrial," by Peter H. Milliken, June 28, 2012

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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