Common Reasons for Misdiagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease

Image of a heart in distress

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is a common yet dangerous and often deadly condition. In fact, CAD and other cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide.

The team at the Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. breaks down the frequent mistakes that pose serious health risks for CAD patients if left undetected or treated incorrectly.

Lack of Comprehensive Medical History

One of the most common reasons for missed diagnosis of CAD is a lack of comprehensive medical history taking. Without a thorough understanding of an individual's family and personal medical history, it can be difficult to connect certain symptoms to the underlying cause.

A comprehensive medical history provides vital contextual information which may provide insight into possible causes that would otherwise remain unknown. For example, considering the family history of cardiovascular diseases can help inform if a patient's symptoms indicate CAD rather than a separate condition.

In their analysis, doctors should also consider medication side effects and any recent symptoms that might point to CAD. Without considering these matters thoroughly, physicians may overlook CAD, which could lead to dangerous consequences for patients' health if not properly treated.

Overreliance on a Single Diagnostic Tool

An overreliance on a single diagnostic tool, like an electrocardiogram (ECG), can cause misdiagnosis of CAD. While ECGs provide a critical assessment of the heart's electrical activity, they do not always effectively demonstrate CAD due to factors such as gender, age, and physical characteristics.

CAD must also be looked for via other means involving imaging, blood tests, and more to diagnose the condition accurately. Failure to use multiple methodologies for diagnosis may lead to misdiagnoses. Improper diagnosis can create myriad issues for physicians and patients, so medical providers should strive to develop a comprehensive diagnostic procedure that incorporates ECG readings and other testing procedures when looking at symptoms of CAD.

Poor Communication Between Healthcare Professionals

Poor communication between healthcare professionals is a leading cause of misdiagnosis regarding CAD. The lack of accurate and up-to-date information sharing leads to incorrect or inadequate diagnoses, leading to inappropriate or delayed treatment.

For example, if one doctor fails to communicate important test results or medical history information to the next doctor, the patient's condition could worsen since the medical team doesn't know all the facts needed to make an informed decision. Additionally, physician burnout can enhance poor communication between healthcare team members and lead to missed critical tests or delays in diagnosing cardiovascular conditions.

Use of Outdated Diagnostic Criteria

CAD remains a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide due in part to outdated diagnostic criteria for recognizing signs and symptoms associated with CAD. Because CAD continues to evolve and develop as medical science advances, current standards must be relied on to accurately identify those with the condition.

Furthermore, the variable nature of the resultant symptoms can lead to misdiagnosis and failure to properly recognize early warning signs. As such, healthcare providers must remain aware of updated guidelines and criteria to assess those who may be exhibiting symptoms of CAD.

Every Move Matters if You or a Loved One Was Misdiagnosed

Misdiagnosis of CAD is a serious problem. Careful attention to a patient's medical history, comprehensive evaluation, and collaborative approach among healthcare professionals can improve diagnostic accuracy. Risk factors such as family history or smoking should be accounted for when forming a diagnosis. It is important to recognize that relying too heavily on one diagnostic tool or using outdated criteria for diagnosing CAD should be avoided.

When dealing with a medical misdiagnosis case, one of the most beneficial actions you can take is enlisting the help of an attorney who is also a medical doctor. Working alongside such a professional ensures they are well-versed in legal and medical matters, providing much more protection for your interests.

The Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. can determine if your case meets the criteria for malpractice liability and work with you throughout the process to ensure that your legal rights are protected and you receive fair compensation for the damages suffered due to negligent medical care. With our experienced attorney and medical doctor at your side, you can feel confident that justice will ultimately be served in pursuit of a successful outcome.

Contact us online or by phone to explore your rights and options. (407) 305-6088

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