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The Most Commonly Misdiagnosed Heart Problems in America


Did you know that according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that “medical negligence and malpractice” is the third leading cause of deaths in the United States today?

Did you know that one out of every 20 American adults has been incorrectly diagnosed?

In 2012, over $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts, with an average of one payout happening every 43 minutes.

Unfortunately, as we at Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen have seen first hand, medical malpractice and negligence is common in our country – especially when it comes to heart problems. What is even more alarming is that certain groups – particularly women and younger folks – are more at risk than others of suffering from medical malpractice relating to heart problems.

If you have been diagnosed with any of the following or believe you may be exhibiting symptoms and are not being taken seriously by your doctor, it may be time to ask for a second (or third) opinion:

Heart Attacks

How a heart attack feels to you can differ from how others experience it. Younger people may feel a crushing pain in their chest while older individuals may believe that they have a bit of indigestion. Women may not experience a lot of the classic symptoms of a heart attack, such as a numbing sensation in the left arm. Some women’s symptoms are dismissed as relating to anxiety, (according to one 2014 study), when in fact they are suffering from a heat attack.


Every year, medical personnel are quick to discount what may be the early signs a disabling stroke in thousands of Americans. One study from the American Heart Association revealed that younger adults who presented stroke symptoms were misdiagnosed as suffering from migraines, vertigo or alcohol intoxication.

Regardless of an individual’s age, no one should be suffering from a sudden onset of:

  • Confusion
  • Severe headaches
  • Facial numbness
  • Vision problems
  • Trouble speaking
  • Issues with mobility

Aortic Dissection

One of the most commonly misdiagnosed, yet fatal, conditions is an aortic dissection. If a physician does not order the correct line of tests soon enough, the patient will likely be incorrectly diagnosed and will likely die. One 2009 study showed that close to one-third of patients who were suffering aortic dissection were originally misdiagnosed.

Dealing with medical malpractice – especially if you have lost a loved one because of it – is a harrowing matter, which no one should need to face alone. That is why our attorneys at Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen offer free consultations to anyone who has had to deal with these often multi-faceted and incredibly complex matters.

Whether you have been the victim of medical malpractice or have lost a loved one because of it, we welcome your call at (702) 505-8115.

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