Doctors often miss heart attacks in women

When a doctor makes the wrong diagnosis, it can have a serious impact on the patient’s health. This is especially true if the doctor thinks that a life-threatening condition is actually fairly mundane. For instance, if they tell someone who is having a heart attack that they just have indigestion and send them home to rest, that person may pass away.

Unfortunately, when it comes to heart attacks specifically, this is more likely to happen to female patients. Doctors will simply make a misdiagnosis more often. They may tell the person that they are experiencing stress, anxiety, indigestion or related issues. Why does this happen so much more often with women than it does with men?

The symptoms can be different

The big difference is just that men and women can present different symptoms when they are having a heart attack. Many doctors are looking for male symptoms first and foremost, so they may misinterpret female symptoms.

For example, men having heart attacks often talk about having severe chest pain and difficulty breathing. Women having heart attacks sometimes talk about having neck or jaw pain, along with indigestion or nausea. They may also have trouble breathing, but they may talk more about feeling weak or fatigued.

All of these symptoms just mean that the person is having a heart attack, but it’s more likely for the doctor to overlook it if they assume that a lack of severe chest pain means it isn’t a heart attack. This can lead to serious and life-altering medical mistakes. 

Your legal options

Have you lost a loved one due to a doctor’s error? If so, you may be able to seek compensation for funeral bills, medical costs and much more.

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