Valenzuela Law Firm, PA | Trial Attorney
Attorney Henry E. Valenzuela

Why are heart attacks frequently misdiagnosed in women?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2023 | Misdiagnosis

Heart attacks can be scary. They could happen without warning and leave severe damage. They could also become fatal if left untreated. Fortunately, being vigilant could help anyone spot the warning signs so that patients could seek emergency care. If caught early, a physician could provide the necessary treatments.

However, women are at higher risk when they experience a heart attack. Misdiagnosis is common among heart attacks in women. This error could lead to fatal repercussions even if they reach the emergency room in time.

Typically, a doctor follows procedural protocol when diagnosing a patient. It is the same for heart attacks. They must verify the condition and its severity to know how to treat the patient. All hospitals use the same standards for identifying a heart attack. Still, misdiagnosis in women is frequent because they show more diverse symptoms.

Chest pain is a common symptom regardless of gender. Arm pain, sweating and breath shortness are typical symptoms of heart attacks, but women seldom experience them. They often have neck pain, dizziness and nausea. Additionally, their chest pain might be milder, like heartburn.

Women’s symptoms might be subtle, making their heart attacks even more dangerous. Doctors could misdiagnose them and deprioritize their condition, delaying much-needed medical care.

Hospital staff might only notice the heart attack’s severity when it is too late. Sometimes, women might not reach the emergency room because they refuse to go since their symptoms are mild.

Being vigilant could save a life

Both patients and doctors should stay vigilant when dealing with heart attack symptoms. Recognizing the signs and their combinations at home is essential to seek medical care on time.

Additionally, doctors rely on information from patients. Efficient communication and vigilance could help minimize the risks of misdiagnosis. However, health care providers could be reckless, leading to misdiagnosis.

If their negligence caused severe damages or fatalities, a medical malpractice lawsuit could bring them to justice.

Rated by Super Lawyers: Henry E Valenzuela |
American Board of Trial Advocates
The Best Lawyers in America
Board Certified by the Florida Bar | Civil Trial
FindLaw Network