Most patients are relieved to hear that they’re not having a heart attack, but ruling out cardiac emergencies doesn’t necessarily mean that patients don’t need medical attention. Even after a chest x-ray and EKG have come back normal, chest pain is a serious concern—with potentially serious consequences when the cause goes undiagnosed. Although the doctor may be sure that a patient isn’t having a heart attack, chest pain may indicate a number of other conditions that require medical attention, such as:
- Aortic dissection
- Lung infections
- Blockages in the arteries or lungs
- Inflammation in the lungs or heart
- Other cardiac diseases
Because of this, it’s important for urgent care staff, doctors, nurses, and hospitals to continue testing in a patient with chest pain to rule out these serious complications and prevent injury to the patient.
The Consequences of Failing to Diagnose Other Causes of Chest Pains
When doctors rule out a heart attack, there can still be questions about what is causing the patient’s symptoms. If doctors don’t investigate complaints of chest pains further, the patient can suffer preventable consequences. In the case of undiagnosed lung infections, patients can develop serious breathing problems and scarring in the lungs while a diagnosis is delayed. In the case of aortic dissection or pulmonary embolism, the consequence of a missed diagnosis could be death.
Patients trust their doctors to take reasonable measures to protect their health and find out what’s wrong. When doctors make mistakes, ignore potentially serious symptoms, or send a patient home before adequate testing is performed, the victims can pursue a financial recovery against the doctor or hospital responsible.
For more information about misdiagnosed chest pains or filing a medical malpractice claim, don’t hesitate to reach out to our legal team at 312-332-1400 for help.