A recent study partly funded by the British Heart Foundation, has suggested that almost a third of patients in England and Wales are being given the wrong initial diagnosis after a heart attack. The study has examined NHS data for over 9 years and considered around 600,000 heart attack cases to reach this conclusion.
The study has highlighted the need for more urgent research to develop tests which are able to provide an earlier and more accurate diagnosis. The British Heart Foundation have advised that the longer a heart attack is left undiagnosed and untreated, the more likely the damage sustained will be irreversible. It is therefore vitally important that awareness is raised of the symptoms of heart attacks amongst both healthcare professionals and members of the public, so that treatment is received as quickly as possible.
Sian Thompson, Associate Solicitor at the Medical Accident Group, said that “when someone has suffered a heart attack it is vital that the correct diagnosis is made as soon as possible to enable the patient to receive treatment and have the best chance of survival. It is very concerning that a third of the heart attack cases examined were misdiagnosed in the first instance leading to delays in the correct treatment being provided. Fast and effective treatment is crucial and has been proven to prevent irreversible damage and fatalities.”
If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of a misdiagnosis of a heart attack or any other substandard treatment, Medical Accident Group can help. Our experienced and dedicated team, whose knowledge of clinical negligence and personal injury law is extensive, can support you through the process of making a claim and seeking justice. We can advise on issues from brain injury or birth injury to surgical and medical errors and accidents at work. Call us free on 0800 050 1668.