A quarter of lawsuits against cardiologists allege misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis

At some point, many Illinois residents will either experience cardiac problems firsthand or have a family member who is impacted. When an individual or a family member is diagnosed as having some sort of heart condition, they are typically referred to a cardiologist who may conduct additional tests and procedures.

Like all doctors, cardiologists must work to promptly diagnose and treat heart conditions. Additionally, cardiologists must work to ensure they are openly and honestly communicating with patients and their family members about a diagnosis as well as the potential risks and benefits of any recommended treatments or procedures.

The Doctors Company, an insurance provider to doctors, recently conducted research aimed to determine why cardiologists may be named as defendants in medical malpractice lawsuits. By examining some 429 such lawsuits, those conducting the research determined that a quarter of those lawsuits examined involved patients who claimed they or a loved one suffered harm as a result of a doctor failing to diagnose, misdiagnosing or delaying a diagnosis of a cardiac problem or condition.

Other acts of alleged medical malpractice among cardiologists related to a failure to properly manage a patient’s treatment plan as well as medical errors that occurred either during or after heart surgery which lead to a patient’s injury or death.

Researchers also determined that doctors who maintain open and honest communication with patients and family members from the start can sometimes mitigate possible medical malpractice lawsuits. Additionally, while it may seem counter intuitive, doctors are advised to take responsibility and admit to patients and their loved ones when medical mistakes occur.

Source: Medpage Today, “Top 5 Reasons Cardiologists Get Sued,” Todd Neale, March 14, 2014