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It seem obvious when a patient has a heart attack, but in many cases the symptoms may not that obvious to the lay-person – but they should be to a qualified medical practitioner.
Accurately and quickly identifying that a patient has suffered a heart attack is extremely important because the outcomes for heart attack victims are very strongly linked to the length of time between the outset of cardiac arrest and receiving direct treatment.
These symptoms are often mistaken for heartburn by patient and doctor alike, with fatal results
A heart attack occurs when one of the coronary arteries becomes blocked and the heart muscle is deprived of blood. The longer it takes for the blockage to be cleared – either with drugs or through cardiac catheterization – the more damage is inflicted on the heart muscle. Delays in treatment can lead to heart failure, either shortly after the initial event or in the months or years following if damaged heart muscle leads to congestive heart failure.
More than one-fifth of men and a quarter of women over the age of 45 die within a year of their first heart attack. In most cases, this is due to delays on the part of the patient in seeking treatment for chest pain, but the medical professionals have a clear responsibility to identify the symptoms of cardiac arrest and to treat it with the utmost urgency.
Symptoms of an impending heart attack include pressure building in the chest and pain in the left arm. Unfortunately, these symptoms are often mistaken for heartburn by patient and doctor alike, with fatal results.
Can I sue the NHS?
Before making a claim it is worth taking note of the following point.
Check that your medical issues are grounds for negligence, and not a simple complaint procedure. Complaints about procedure dissatisfaction, or seeking an apology / admission for lack of care / treatment should go to PALS. Read more about suing the nhs.
When you might have a claim
Injury, continuous pain or loss due to the act of a practitioner or general lack of care at the NHS is an entirely different matter. You might very well have a claim. The duty of care might have been breached meaning the health care professional/s did not provide the expected level of care. If you believe you deserve compensation you may have a medical negligence claim. Read more about how to claim against the NHS here.
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