Misdiagnosed and undiagnosed heart attack claims

If you or a family member has suffered as a result of an undiagnosed or misdiagnosed heart attack, specialist legal advice can help you secure medical negligence compensation to provide financial security for your family.


Making an Undiagnosed Heart Attack Claim

Any action or failure on the part of a medical professional responsible for your care that results in a heart attack going undiagnosed, or a diagnosis being delayed could mean you are entitled to make a medical negligence compensation claim. In the experience of the expert solicitors at Blackwater Law, some of the most common situations where it is appropriate to make a heart attack misdiagnosis claim include the following:

  • Where you are diagnosed with the wrong form of heart attack, and subsequently receive the wrong form of treatment.
  • When the patient suffers a heart attack misdiagnosis and the symptoms of the heart attack are wrongly diagnosed by a doctor as simple chest pain or another minor condition, meaning the heart attack goes untreated.
  • Where appropriate further testing is not undertaken by doctors after you have presented to them with symptoms associated with a heart attack.
  • Where further testing is carried out but these tests are not carried out appropriately, leading to false results, or the results are incorrectly interpreted.

The situations listed above do not represent a comprehensive list of scenarios where it may be appropriate to make a compensation claim for an undiagnosed heart attack. If you are unhappy with the care you or a family member received following a heart attack, it is important for you to speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor who can provide free initial advice and support as to whether making a compensation claim is the right option for you and your family.

The UK sees 188,000 hospital admissions per year as a result of heart attacks, equating to one roughly every 3 minutes. Many survive, but misdiagnosis of or undiagnosed heart attacks still lead to thousands of deaths every year, and a great deal of suffering besides. In these unfortunate cases, making a claim for heart attack misdiagnosis can provide financial security to the family of the patient, but can also ensure the NHS admits its mistakes and makes changes to prevent them from occurring in future and impacting even more lives.

  • Recognised as expert legal advisors
  • No win, no fee claims
  • Access specialist care & rehabilitation
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Call and get expert legal advice from a specialist medical negligence solicitor. Find out if you can claim compensation.

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Specialist heart attack misdiagnosis claims solicitors

Contact a Blackwater Law clinical negligence solicitor today and you will speak to an experienced medical negligence solicitor who will give you free initial advice, answer your questions and quickly tell you whether you may be entitled to make a compensation claim relating to an undiagnosed heart attack.

Ranked by the Legal 500 – an independent directory of the UK’s top law firms – as one of the leading clinical negligence teams in the country, you can be sure you will get some of the best legal advice available.

Blackwater Law is a specialist in dealing with medical negligence claims and is experienced in representing clients specifically in claims relating to delayed diagnosis of heart attack and misdiagnosis of a heart attack. Such is the team’s reputation in the field of clinical negligence claims that members of the public from across the country seek their advice and support.

No Win, No Fee Compensation Claims for Undiagnosed Heart Attacks

At Blackwater Law, we understand just how devastating an undiagnosed heart attack can be, from its effects on the personal health of the patient, to their ability to go to work and earn a living. There is also the often significant impact on the wider family.

Your heart attack claim will be undertaken on a no win, no fee basis meaning there is no financial risk to you.

We know that at a time like this, finding the funds to make a compensation claim and put things right will likely be the last thing on your mind – so we don’t ask you to. All of our clinical negligence cases – including those relating to undiagnosed and misdiagnosed heart attacks – are conducted on an entirely no-win, no-fee basis.

Making a no-win, no-fee compensation claim means you will not pay Blackwater Law any money until such time as your case is settled successfully in your favour. Our legal fee is simply a percentage of the amount of compensation that you receive, which will be agreed with you from the very beginning. This agreement guarantees you a fair deal, with no personal risk involved whatsoever.

Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors acted for Mr L in a medical negligence claim in the High Court after he was misdiagnosed. The misdiagnosis meant he went on to suffer a serious stroke-causing life-limiting disability.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Medical staff are well trained in recognising the symptoms of a heart attack, and as such misdiagnosis should not occur often. There are however a number of signs you should look out for to heighten your awareness and help you recognise when it is time to seek medical attention.

  • Experiencing Chest Pain: This is particularly pertinent when it feels like your chest is being pressed or squeezed as if being crushed by a heavy object. The pain may also radiate out from your chest to the likes of your jaw, neck, arms or your back.
  • Feeling a Shortness of Breath: This may also be accompanied by feeling lightheaded and/or weak.
  • Experiencing Acute Anxiety: Where you feel completely overwhelmed and/or afraid.
  • Nausea or Pain in the Abdomen: Particularly relevant for women, but experienced by men too.
  • Blackouts or Fainting: Particularly relevant for those who are diabetic.

Avoid the misconception that the severity of any chest pain is indicative of whether or not you are suffering a heart attack. The pain associated with a heart attack can range from mild to extreme, and in some cases can even be mistaken for indigestion, with diabetics more likely to not experience any such pain at all.

Diagnosis of a Heart Attack

If you are suspected to have sustained a heart attack you should be admitted to the hospital immediately for a confirmation diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Normally you will be rushed to an Acute Cardiac Care Unit (ACCU), or directly to the hospital’s cardiac catheterisation unit.

Within 10 minutes of admittance, an electrocardiogram (ECG) should be performed in order to measure the electrical activity of your heart. This process is totally painless and requires less than 5 minutes, with electrodes attached to your legs, arms and your chest.

Your ECG will help confirm exactly which kind of heart attack you have sustained, and as such acts to reduce the likelihood of a heart attack misdiagnosis.

Only a specialist medical negligence solicitor can advise you on whether you are able to make a claim for compensation.

Types of Heart Attack

Heart attacks are referred to by medical professionals as forms of the acute coronary syndrome (ACS), of which there are three primary types.

ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI): This is the most serious form of heart attack, and denotes a situation where there is a prolonged interruption of the blood supply to the heart. This is caused by a blockage of the coronary artery by cholesterol breaking down and subsequently being replaced by blood clots. This will eventually lead to significant damage to the large area of the heart. It is the most commonly recognised form of a heart attack.

Non-ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (NSTEMI): Considered less immediately dangerous than the aforementioned STEMI heart attacks, these denote situations where the supply of blood to the heart is only partially cut off, resulting in a smaller area of the heart sustaining damage. Left untreated, however, these attacks are still life-threatening and may progress to a more serious STEMI stage heart attack.

Unstable Angina: Regarded as the least serious form of ACS, this is still a medical emergency as without proper treatment the condition can deteriorate and cause serious damage to the heart, or become a STEMI attack.

Correct diagnosis of the type of heart attack suffered ensures the correct medical advice and treatment are provided.

Causes of Heart Attacks

There is no singular cause for heart attacks in UK patients; however, a number of factors can elevate your risk of sustaining one:

  • Nearly 20,000 UK heart attack-related deaths are linked to smoking each year.
  • Being overweight, or particularly obese drastically increases your risk of heart attack (according to your BMI).
  • Consuming a high-fat diet also elevates your risk in its own right.
  • Having a high cholesterol level or high blood pressure.
  • Failing to perform an adequate amount of physical activity on a weekly basis.
  • Failing to consume the recommended 5 fruits and vegetables a day.
  • Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol, or abusing drugs can also elevate your risk.
  • Maintaining low levels of oxygen in the blood (known as Hypoxia).
  • Living or working in an area with excessive air pollution has increasingly been linked to elevated heart attack risks.
  • Age, gender, family history and ethnicity can also play a role in determining your risk of a heart attack.
  • Experiencing a sudden traumatic event, such as being involved in a car accident.

Treatment for heart attacks is far more successful following prompt diagnosis, a delayed or misdiagnosis can drastically increase mortality risk and complicate treatment

Treatment of Heart Attacks

The course of treatment best suited to your or your family member will depend largely on what form of heart attack has been sustained.

In the event you sustain a STEMI heart attack:

  • Symptoms that began within the last 12 hours will often be treated with a Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI). This is a procedure to widen the coronary artery and may be supplemented with the prescription of blood-thinning medications. Where there is no ready access to such a procedure, you will be offered medication to break down the blood clots forming within the coronary artery.
  • If your symptoms began in excess of 12 hours ago, and especially if your condition has since improved, other options may be available to you. These include the likes of continued medication or coronary bypass surgery; which involves redirecting blood vessels from other areas of the body to bypass blocked or heavily restricted ones already struggling to supply to the heart.

Where you suffer an NSTEMI or Unstable Angina:

  • In these instances, it may be sufficient to undertake a course of blood-thinning medication, including the likes of aspirin.
  • Supplementary procedures, including the likes of coronary bypass surgery, may subsequently be performed based on your condition and recovery.
Get expert legal advice

Call and get expert advice from a, specialist medical negligence solicitor. Find out if you can claim compensation.

CALL 0800 083 5500

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It was a long slow process but Jason kept us informed all the way.

Mr Shaw, as featured in video above.

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