Many medical conditions can strike at any given moment, leaving the sufferer mere moments to seek appropriate medical attention. The good news is that there are many skilled medical professionals out there ready and able to help. These doctors and nurses are oftentimes able to make a quick diagnosis that can save a patient’s health and, perhaps, his or her life.

On the other hand, though, there are medical professionals out there that are inadequately trained, fatigued or just errant in their judgment. When these professionals misdiagnose an individual’s condition, the results can be tragic. Therefore, it is in Massachusetts residents’ best interests to be aware of the signs of serious medical conditions and also to know what to do in the event that they are harmed by negligence.

Heart attack is one of the most often misdiagnosed medical conditions. The symptoms of a heart attack include chest discomfort, discomfort in the upper portion of the body, shortness of breath, nausea and lightheadedness. Those who experience these symptoms should go to the doctor immediately. However, when there is a failure to diagnose, a patient may be left with significant losses, including decreased health, medical expenses, lost wages and physical and emotional pain and suffering.

Those who have been harmed by a failure to diagnose may be able to recoup their losses by filing a medical malpractice claim. In order to win on a claim a victim must prove that the doctor owed him or her a duty of care, the doctor breached that duty and harm was suffered as a result of that breach. Misdiagnosis of a relatively obvious medical condition could certainly satisfy these elements. However, no outcome is guaranteed, so those who suffer injuries at the hand of a medical professional’s negligence may want to discuss the matter with an attorney who might be able to give a valid assessment of the case.

Source: American Heart Association, “Warning Signs of a Heart Attack” accessed on Nov. 7, 2015