Understanding When the Failure to Diagnose A-Fib in Oregon Could be Medical Malpractice
According to the Mayo Clinic, atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) is a heart condition that is characterized by a rapid and irregular heart rate. It is well known by doctors and other medical professionals that a-fib increases your risk for heart failure, strokes, and other cardiac complications. Diagnosis of a-fib in a timely manner is essential to treat the condition in order to prevent these serious complications from occurring. However, the failure to diagnose a-fib in Oregon could result in serious personal injuries, including wrongful death. It could be due to negligence, known as medical malpractice in a healthcare setting.
While most doctors take a patient complaining of cardiac symptoms (i.e heart pounding in their chest, palpitations, shortness of breath), there are some doctors that sadly do not take the time to fully investigate these complaints, leading to a delay or missed diagnosis. Additionally, there are physicians who may diagnose a-fib, but fail to properly treat the condition, leading to complications such as heart failure or stroke. When a physician fails to properly diagnose and treat atrial fibrillation, serious complications can occur. A person who suffers complications directly from a delay in diagnosis or mismanagement of a-fib is likely entitled to compensation as this is what is referred to as medical malpractice.
At Kuhlman Law, our Oregon medical malpractice lawyer can help review your case if there was a failure to diagnose a-fib. This is a pretty treatable condition, which can be worsened or become deadly if it is not timely treated and repaired. In fact, a-fib could become disabling and debilitating if it is not identified early enough or treated properly. Generally, when it is first diagnosed there are little if any impact on a patient’s overall health. Therefore, if you or a loved one were diagnosed with a-fib and you have had to undergo a procedure, had serious ramifications from it, or if you have had any longterm effects, you may have been the victim of medical malpractice and not even know it. Ask us for a FREE consultation to review your case.
Atrial Fibrillation Explained
During an episode of a-fib, the atria (heart’s two upper chambers) will beat irregularly, rapidly, and out of coordination with the ventricles (two lower chambers of the heart). Some people have a-fib that is episodic, other people experience a-fib continuously. A-fib is a serious medical condition that requires timely treatment to prevent other complications from happening, such as those mentioned above.
Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation
While not all people experience symptoms of the condition, other people may experience symptoms that prompt a visit to the doctor or emergency room. Examples of symptoms a person with atrial fibrillation may experience include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Palpitations or irregular heartbeat
- A “flip-flopping” sensation in the chest
- Exercise intolerance
Complications of Atrial Fibrillation
People with arterial fibrillation are at increased risk for serious and life-threatening complications. This is why timely diagnosis and proper treatment are essential to minimize the risks of the condition. The most common complications due to a-fib include the following:
Heart Failure – Heart failure is a condition in which the heart becomes weakened, making it unable to effectively pump enough blood and oxygen throughout the body. Heart failure can be the result of many conditions, including a-fib. A-fib can cause heart failure if it is not properly managed as a person’s heart with a-fib is working harder that normal. Additionally, a person who is having a-fib’s heart is ineffectively pumping blood which results in less blood being pumped out than it should. Another cause of heart failure due to a-fib includes heart muscle damage due to the rapid heart rate. Heart failure is often a terminal condition, meaning a person will eventually die of the condition. This is why a timely diagnosis of of a-fib is essential to prevent complications such as heart failure.
Stroke – A person with a-fib is at an increased risk for stroke due to the irregular rhythm of the heart leading blood to pool in the upper chambers of the heart, forming clots. Once a blood clot forms, there is a great risk for the blood clot traveling to brain if the clot dislodges. A stroke can lead to catastrophic consequences for a patient, including paralysis, impaired vision, behavioral changes, impaired speech or loss of language, or even the inability to care for ones’ self.
Medical Malpractice Causing A-Fib Complications
Atrial fibrillation is a very serious heart condition that requires timely diagnosis and intervention. While this condition can be well managed, thus preventing serious complications such as heart failure and stroke, this is unfortunately not always the case. Sometimes, a person may suffer from stroke or heart failure due to a healthcare provider’s error. This is unacceptable and can result in catastrophic consequences for the patient, including death. Examples of medical malpractice causing complications includes the following:
- Failure to diagnose atrial fibrillation
- Failure to conduct proper testing for diagnosis of the condition
- Dismissing a patient’s cardiac complaints without a thorough and timely investigation
- Failure to provide appropriate treatment for a-fib
- Failure to provide appropriate oversight and management of the condition
- Failure to diagnose complications of a-fib, such as heart failure or stroke
- Misinterpretation of test results
- Failure to refer to an appropriate specialist who can better manage the condition (i.e. cardiologist)
- Failure to perform surgery if indicated
- Failure to properly assess a patient with cardiac complaints
Failure to Diagnose A-Fib in Oregon Due to Medical Malpractice
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with this very treatable condition after it has been too late, you may have a medical malpractice claim under Oregon law. Liability could be with your primary care physician or family care practitioner, as well as with any other nurse or technician that handled your previous care and should have detected an abnormality.
In addition, if you were at a hospital or healthcare provider for an unrelated issue, and the staff there did not detect this condition, but should have and should have reported it to you and your primary care doctor, you may have a claim against them too.
Ask Kuhlman Law For Help with the Failure to Diagnose A-Fib in Oregon
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.