Chest pain is a common complaint by many people entering an emergency room. Many different life-threatening conditions can present themselves as chest pain. It is the job of the emergency room physician and staff to sort out the possible causes of chest pain.
If you or a loved one went to the emergency room or a doctor's office with chest pain and was not properly treated, you may have a case. At Biancheria & Maliver P.C., our Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers' experience with the investigation and proof of both liability and damages in cases of emergency room mistakes can help maximize your recovery in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
The causes of chest pain can come from all types of conditions such as:
Heart attacks occur when there is an occlusion of the blood supply carrying oxygen to part of the heart. If identified promptly, heart damage can be greatly reduced or even eliminated with medications, catheterization, stenting or other procedures. Emergency room physicians should be skilled in immediate recognition and treatment of this condition. Failure to diagnose the condition can result in death or heart failure.
Pulmonary embolisms are clots which break off from the legs or pelvis and travel through the right heart into the lungs. They can be fatal if not treated immediately with blood thinners or even, in some cases, surgery or thrombolysis. It is critical that when a patient presents with chest pain that this diagnosis is considered, as prompt treatment is life-saving.
Pneumonia can be rapidly fatal and can present as chest pain. The treatment for pneumonia is generally intravenous antibiotic and other supportive therapy, quite different from the treatment for heart attack or pulmonary embolism. In performing a differential diagnosis, it is crucial that an emergency room physician considers pneumonia as a possible cause of chest pain. The failure to diagnose this condition can result in death, debility from lung disease or infectious complications, or damage to other organs as a result of shock.
Aortic dissection is a condition in which the main artery carrying blood away from the heart tears. This can cause loss of blood, malfunction of the heart and rapid death. It can be repaired surgically if it is promptly recognized. It is imperative that this diagnosis be considered in all persons presented to a hospital with chest pain as prompt treatment for this is life-saving. Further, if anticoagulant or thrombolytic drugs are given to a person with this condition with the mistaken belief that her or she is having a heart attack, death may result.
In order to sort out possible causes of chest pain, a thorough and proper differential diagnosis must be done. We have found that many times careful histories (speaking with patients) or physical examinations are not properly performed with disastrous results for patients. Following a history and physical examination, depending on what the doctor has identified, various tests such as blood tests, chest X-rays, EKG, CT scan, MRI scans or ultrasounds may be used to sort out the underlying cause of the condition.
Contact An Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney And Licensed Physician
For a free assessment and evaluation of your claim, contact the attorneys of Biancheria & Maliver P.C. Your case will always be personally reviewed by Deborah Maliver, who is both an attorney and a board-certified physician.