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Heart attack symptoms misdiagnosed in women

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

The number of women that are misdiagnosed when having a heart attack in New Mexico is appalling. In fact, reports have shown that doctors miss heart attack signs in women about 50% of the time and that 1 in every 4 women die as a result. Let’s find out why this happens and what you can do.

Misdiagnosis of heart attacks in women

The basis of health sciences assumes that a heart attack is a man’s disease. Admittedly, most research has been done on men, so the commonly known symptoms are related to men. Women are different from men on a cellular level as well as how their bodies react to conditions.

Therefore, the heart attack symptoms that you would commonly see in a man can be totally different from those in a woman. If doctors do not appreciate these differences and treat women accordingly, then they would be committing medical malpractice because they are putting their lives in danger. It’s no surprise that women are twice as likely to die from a heart attack than the infamous breast cancer.

Why are heart attacks commonly misdiagnosed?

If you do a quick internet search of the symptoms of a heart attack, the results you will see are based mainly on pain and tightness around the chest, fatigue, abnormal heartbeat, and anxiety. While these are clear indicators, they can be entirely different for women.

Women experience dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath; cold sweating; stomach pain; and discomfort in the shoulder blades, arms, neck, and jaw. Most doctors don’t associate stomach pains, nausea, and dizziness with a heart attack on the first encounter. Thus, they would provide the wrong diagnosis and medication, which could worsen the situation and necessitate the filing of a medical malpractice suit.

If a misdiagnosis disadvantages you in any way, then you can file a lawsuit with New Mexico civil courts. However, it is important to note that you can only do this within three years from the act of malpractice, according to the state’s statutes.