Emergency Room Delays
Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorneys: Representing Victims of ER Delays
According to the American Heart Association, 1.5 million Americans have
a heart attack (known as a myocardial infarction or MI) each year, and
about 20% of them die before reaching a hospital. If proper medical treatment
is administered within 60 minutes of the event, the odds for surviving
improve dramatically and the likelihood of serious damage to heart tissue
decreases. Once presentation is made to an Emergency Room (ER), it is
essential for the ER doctors and medical staff to act quickly in diagnosing
the MI and administering treatment to allow blood flow to return to the heart.
Delay in diagnosis and/or providing definitive care will lead to the death
of heart muscle, causing congestive heart failure. The extent of damage
will depend on how much and how long oxygen deprivation occurs. Ultimately,
this delay can cause death or the need for a heart transplant.
Aggressive Help When You Need It Most
Malove Henratty, P.A. has successfully prosecuted negligent doctors and
hospitals for untimely attendance to patients with an evolving myocardial
infarction. Diagnosis and treatment of a myocardial infarction is a common
event that every properly trained doctor working in an ER in the United
States should be competent to handle. All too often, emergency room personnel
"drop the ball," causing catastrophic damage to their patients.
At Malove Henratty, P.A., our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys
can help recover money damages for the victims and families of these negligent acts.
to schedule an initial consultation, free of charge, or
contact us here.
What Causes Heart Attacks?
The anatomy of a heart attack occurs over many years as fatty plaques build
up on the inner walls of coronary arteries, causing these vessels to harden
and narrow and reducing the flow of blood to the heart muscle. Most myocardial
infarctions occur when a clot forms in one of these arteries and completely
blocks the blood supply to a part of the heart. If deprived of oxygen
and nutrients long enough, this portion of the muscle will die; surrounding
tissue also may be damaged. During the attack, the heart contracts weakly
instead of pumping blood forcefully to the brain and other vital organs.
Its electrical activity may also become erratic, increasing the likelihood
that a sudden and fatal arrhythmia could occur.
A myocardial infarction is typically accompanied by sensations of crushing
pressure or fullness, or by searing in the chest that may be mistaken
for severe heartburn. The pain may radiate to the shoulders or arms (typically
on the left, although either or both sides may be affected), as well as
to the neck, jaw, or back.
Other common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling clammy to the touch
The Importance of the National Heart Attack Alert Program
In an effort to increase the number of heart attack patients treated during
this "golden hour," the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
has initiated the National Heart Attack Alert Program, which focuses on
educating the public about symptoms and the need for rapid medical intervention,
improving the response times and expertise of Emergency Medical System
(EMS) personnel, and streamlining the procedures hospitals use to evaluate
and admit people who may have suffered a myocardial infarction. The public
needs to know to seek medical treatment rapidly upon the onset of an evolving
MI, but the emergency room staff should be ready to treat and diagnose
the MI the minute the patient enters the ER doors.
If you or a loved one experienced a delay in treatment in a South Florida ER, contact us for help.