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Doctors miss more heart attacks in women

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Interestingly, studies have found that doctors are more likely to miss heart attacks when women are having them, as opposed to when men are experiencing them. In fact, some have gone so far as to say that there are “fundamental flaws” in the way that doctors look at heart disease in women. These mistakes can be fatal, such as when a doctor diagnoses a woman with indigestion and sends her home, but she’s really having a heart attack.

Why does gender make a difference? Are there any reasons why doctors miss heart attacks more often for women, and what does this tell you about the type of care you may receive?

How doctors view heart attacks

The problem, often, is that doctors will view a heart attack through a male lens. They will think about classic male symptoms, the most common of which is chest pain. If a man comes in and complains of acute chest pain, a heart attack will be the doctor’s first thought.

But for women, this type of chest pain often is not the first symptom that they experience. They may have issues like neck pain or nausea. Some women have balance problems or feel dizzy. They may experience heartburn or trouble breathing, perhaps making it seem like they are ill or having a gastronomical issue.

For this reason, doctors often misdiagnose the heart attack as a more minor issue. This delays the care that women get, increasing their fatality rate from these heart attacks.

What legal options do you have?

Have you lost a loved one due to a doctor’s mistake? If you believe that medical malpractice was the reason why, then you need to know what steps you can take moving forward.


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