Failure to diagnose a heart attack happens due to some error on the part of the physician or the patient. A hurried overworked doctor does not carefully listen to the patient’s complaints and may miss out on something or the patient does not provide all the information required.

  • Failure to diagnose a heart attack occurs
  • When the patient is young
  • No previous history of any heart problems
  • When the symptoms are absent
  • There is no family history of heart attack in the family and
  • Risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, high cholesterol blood levels, a sedentary lifestyle and alcohol consumption are absent
  • Changes not seen on ECG even though heart attack is present

When a heart attack is misdiagnosed, it is usually confused with:

  • Angina
  • GERD – gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Panic attacks especially in women
  • A pulled chest muscle
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Gallbladder stones and
  • A fractured rib.

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