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Cardiologists and Medical Malpractice: Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Jeffrey R. Davis

Do you have heart issues and believe a medical mistake played a role? Medical malpractice is an area of negligence law that addresses healthcare providers’ errors that cause harm. Cardiologists and other medical professionals can be negligent and injure their patients. This area of law allows these patients to obtain compensation for what they’ve endured. 

How is Medical Malpractice Defined? 

Florida law states medical malpractice violates the prevailing professional standard of care. What does that mean? 

“…that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.” 

You, the plaintiff, would have the burden of proving that the standard wasn’t met and you suffered an injury.  

What Might Cardiologists Do That Violates This Standard? 

A 2019 medical journal article investigating 166 medical malpractice claims involving cardiology found the following issues happened most often: 

  • 77.7% – Failure to treat 
  • 71.1% – Death 
  • 69.3% – Failure to diagnose: Heart attacks were the issue in 19.3% of cases. Other missed diagnoses involved aortic dissection, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, aortic dissection, pulmonary embolism, and stroke. 
  • 64.5% – Failure to refer/order diagnostic tests. Missed referrals included surgical referrals. Test issues involved electrocardiograms, cardiac biomarkers, and catheterizations. 

Other issues include delayed diagnoses, surgical mistakes, and the failure to get sufficient patient consent. Not following established diagnostic or treatment protocols could be medical malpractice as well. Researchers found that plaintiffs claiming the failure to diagnose a heart attack had the greatest chances of success at a trial. 

Researchers stated some of these problems could be prevented if healthcare professionals better understood and communicated with patients who racially and or ethnically are different than they are. They found women younger than 55 and non-white patients presenting in emergency rooms with heart attack symptoms are much less likely to be admitted to hospitals than male and white patients. 

What Injuries Might Result from Medical Malpractice by a Cardiologist? 

Some of the injuries include: 

  • A delay or failure to diagnose can worsen the situation and make successful treatment less likely. Inappropriate treatments and medications can also cause harm. 
  • Prescribing the wrong medicine or dose can cause severe adverse reactions and complications. 
  • Surgical errors can result in internal bleeding, damaged blood vessels, organs, and nerves. 
  • Failing to monitor or follow up with a patient may result in missed complications, adverse medical reactions, injuries, and infections. 

If a patient has a heart attack due to medical malpractice and can’t be revived, they’ll die as a result. If they recover, lack of oxygen or blood flow can cause organ and brain damage or a stroke, resulting in severe, permanent disabilities.  

Jeffrey R. Davis Is Here to Help You  

If you believe you’re the victim of a cardiologist’s mistake, contact medical malpractice lawyer Jeffrey R. Davis today. Don’t hesitate, as the statute of limitations may prevent your ability to seek justice and compensation. He can be reached at (305) 577-3777. 

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