Maryland medical malpractice attorney Marcus Boston talks about how a heart attack can be misdiagnosed while in the hospital. In some instances people are presented to a hospital with unexplained complaints of chest pains either to not be screened for a possible heart attack, be discharged with indigestion, or some other diagnosis. In instances where no work-up is done for a possible heart attack, red flags appear.
The reason this is the case is because doctors are taught to rule out the most serious condition first, and work down. In many instances, the initial complaints of the patient go a long ways in assessing the actions, or inactions, of the treating doctor and hospital. This is what should usually happen within a few minutes when a patient presents with chest pains he or she cannot explain.
A hospital registrar or other intake worker should take down the chief complaint(s) of the patient and get the patient to a triage nurse as soon as possible. Once the triage nurse has the patient, this nurse will determine the severity of the situation and determine the patient’s chief (or major) complaint. If the chief complaint is chest pain then the triage nurse should get the patient to a treatment area so further diagnosis of the problem can take place. When the patient arrives at the next treatment station, the nurse or other medical professional should be sure to take the patient’s vitals, stabilize the patient if this is needed, and immediately report the patient’s situation to the on duty physician.
Once the patient’s information is presented to the on duty physician, this physician should go see the patient as soon as possible. The patient’s situation should not be downgraded from urgent until it becomes clear from a reasonable standpoint that the patient’s chest pain is not due to his or her heart. Remember, this is how things should play out at in a well-run emergency room. Regardless of if the emergency room is well –run or not, everything should be done to rule out a patient’s heart as being the cause of chest pain as soon as possible.
So why am I sharing this with you today? Because either some, or none of these things may have been done in your loved one’s case. Because you have serious questions regarding the death of your loved on in a Maryland hospital. Here’s what you can do. Pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832. Or you can send me an email to medicalinjury “at” bostonlawllc.com (Remember to replace the “at” with @. We write the email like this to combat email spammers). We answer questions like yours all the time and we would be glad to hear your story.