Experienced Attorneys Serving Victims of Cardiology Errors in Stamford, Danbury, Bridgeport, Shelton and across Connecticut
Heart disease is the leading killer of Americans. When a healthcare provider makes an error in treating this serious disease, the consequences could be disastrous for the patient and his or her family. Many acts by a cardiologist – or a failure to act – could be considered malpractice depending on the circumstances. If you believe that you, or a loved one, has been harmed due to a mistake by a cardiologist, the compassionate medical malpractice attorneys at Berkowitz Hanna may be able to help.
What Constitutes Cardiology Malpractice?
Cardiology is a major area of medical malpractice lawsuits because of the serious consequences of mistakes when treating, or failing to properly treat, heart problems. Simply because a physician made a mistake that harmed a patient doesn’t necessarily mean that malpractice occurred.
Most cases of cardiology malpractice include claims of negligence where it is up to the plaintiff to prove some important factors. It must be proved that the cardiologist owed the plaintiff a duty of care and then breached that duty of care. Additionally, the plaintiff has to be able to prove that the cardiologist’s negligent conduct was directly the cause of the injury – only then can the injury result in compensation.
Expert Testimony and “Standard Care”
Expert testimony is critical in medical malpractice cases. It is needed to establish the “standard care” in a particular case – that is, the degree and nature of the duty owed by the doctor to the patient. Experts then must explain how the actions or inactions of the physician deviated from that standard care, causing the breach in duty of care. They also provide testimony on how the injury was caused, as well as the nature and severity of the resulting injury.
It should be noted that standard care is defined on an individual basis. A cardiologist has a duty to use a certain degree of care and skill which is expected of a reasonably competent cardiologist. How that standard is judged depends on a number of factors, including:
- Where the defendant is located
- The medical school of thought to which the defendant belongs
- The specialty that the defendant practices (in this case, cardiology)
Types of Malpractice
Acts of malpractice fall broadly into three categories: the failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, and mistreatment. The first involves not making any diagnosis, while the second is making the wrong diagnosis (mistaking the symptoms of one condition for another). Both of these can lead to giving the wrong treatment or no treatment at all, either of which can have serious, sometimes fatal, consequences. The third, mistreatment, is performing treatment so poorly it results in injuries to the patient due to ineffectiveness or harmful side effects.
A major job of a cardiologist is to try to prevent a heart attack or properly treat one after it has occurred. Hospitals have protocols for treating suspected heart attack patients once they enter the hospital. Some essential steps in this protocol normally include:
- An electrocardiogram to determine if a heart attack occurred
- A blood test to diagnose the heart attack by identifying certain enzymes in the blood stream
- Supplying oxygen to the oxygen-starved heart muscle
- Providing nitroglycerin to lessen the heart’s workload
- Giving aspirin to thin the blood and reduce heart inflammation
- Providing morphine for pain relief and reducing the heart’s workload
- Giving a drug to break up possible blood clots
- Possibly performing cardiac catheterization or a coronary artery bypass graft to restore blood flow to the heart
Contact Our Dedicated Team to Discuss Your Cardiology Error Case
Cardiology malpractice cases can be technical and complex. Proper use of expert witnesses can be the key to successfully obtaining fair compensation for the victim of malpractice and his or her family. This is not an area of law you should entrust to an attorney who lacks extensive medical malpractice experience. Just as you would not want to be treated by a doctor without experience and positive results, you should not hire a lawyer without experience and positive results to show for it. Our skilled attorneys are highly experienced in defending victims of medical malpractice, and they will strongly pursue compensation for all damages, including medical expenses (past and future), lost earned income, and psychological distress.
If you believe that you or a loved one has been injured by improper diagnosis or treatment, contact our knowledgeable attorneys. You can reach a Connecticut cardiology error lawyer by calling (866) 479-7909 or by clicking on this link to request a free consultation.