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Why women are at higher risk of heart attack misdiagnosis

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Health care providers undergo stringent training to properly diagnose health issues because it can be lifesaving during emergencies. By providing accurate diagnosis, a physician can order the correct tests or scans and implement urgent treatments if necessary. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis is common among women who suffer from heart attacks. This life-threatening health issue can happen at any time, anywhere, making diagnosis a crucial factor in saving the patient’s life.

Factors that can cause misdiagnosis in women

Various factors can increase or reduce the chances of a misdiagnosis. However, data shows that misdiagnosing heart attacks happen twice more often in women than in men. These errors can occur because of the following factors:

  • Women’s symptoms may seem less severe, misleading physicians to believe that they are suffering from minor health issues.
  • Women tend to wait longer before seeking medical attention because their symptoms are often too mild to cause worry.
  • Women may suffer more unusual symptoms, increasing the chances of misdiagnosis.

Instead of severe chest pain, which is typical for men, women may experience fatigue, dizziness and jaw pain during a heart attack. Because of the stark difference in symptoms, women may suffer worse consequences of heart attacks, including disability and death.

Addressing misdiagnosis caused by negligence

Despite having reasonable explanations behind heart attack misdiagnosis among women, health care providers remain responsible for maintaining a duty of care to avoid these missteps. Sometimes, they could commit errors because of negligence or carelessness, which can be medical malpractice. In these scenarios, it can be helpful to seek legal advice immediately. By doing so, victims can determine the most appropriate options to pursue compensation and hold negligent parties accountable for their actions.