Colorado patients may be interested to learn that the results from a study revealed that chest pain in women was not necessarily indicative of a heart attack. The researchers had hoped that chest pain in women be used as a way to detect acute myocardial infarction during its early stages.
The study evaluated approximately 800 women and 1,700 men in three countries over a six-year period. All individuals had gone to the emergency room within 12 hours of suffering an episode of chest pain. The chest pain was evaluated according to 34 criteria, which included the location, duration and severity of the pain. Researchers also evaluated each patient's medical history and conducted follow-up tests.
While the research indicated that heart attacks have different symptoms in men and women, it failed to give doctors the tools to differentiate between women who were suffering a heart attack and women who were suffering chest pain due to other causes. The results did indicate, however, that women who were having a cardiac event were less likely to have had a history of heart disease and had fewer risk factors. Thus, the possibility that a female patient was suffering a heart attack should be taken seriously.
Because chest pain is not necessarily indicative of a heart attack in a female patient, this could result in a misdiagnosis or late diagnosis by a doctor. A misdiagnosis could potentially lead to unnecessary harm or even death. An individual who suffered injuries as a result of a misdiagnosis may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor and the hospital in order to seek compensation for his or her injuries. Compensation may cover increased medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages.
Source: Huffington Post, "Chest Pain Symptoms In Heart Attack Similar For Both Men And Women", Cari Nierenberg, November 26, 2013