Arrhythmia risk, treatment, and medical malpractice

An arrhythmia is a problem with how the heart is beating. It’s a medical condition that leads to over 800,000 hospitalizations annually in the United States alone.

With an arrhythmia, the heartbeat may be too fast, too slow, or irregular.

Some people with a cardiac arrhythmia have no symptoms at all, but others may sense a difference in their heartbeat or experience a faint or dizzy feeling, chest pain, sweating, fatigue, or breathing problems. If you have any of those symptoms, medical experts recommend making an appointment with a physician to get checked out.

Primary care providers & arrhythmias

At any visit with a doctor or mid-level provider (physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner), things should start with a detailed medical history. This is the part of a medical visit when there’s a discussion about the purpose of the visit, family history, and medications. It’s important to share as much information as possible because those details may be important to making a timely, accurate diagnosis.

When a doctor performs a physical exam, part of it will involve listening to the heart with a stethoscope. This is sometimes the first time that an arrhythmia is suspected. Under the standard of care, a primary care physician who considers the possibility of an arrhythmia should refer the patient to a cardiologist (heart specialist) for further workup and evaluation.

Arrhythmias are potentially dangerous

Arrhythmias may be dangerous and deadly because they’re caused by abnormalities in heart tissue or the electrical functions that run the heartbeat. A primary care doctor may also order some other tests, including a chest x-ray and blood work to investigate potential problems.

The role of cardiologists

A cardiologist will almost certainly perform an electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) to measure and assess the electrical activity of the heart, including the heartbeat and rate. A cardiologist may also order other tests, such as a Holter monitor, which records heart activity over a longer period of time.

Medical malpractice

The failure to diagnose and treat a heart arrhythmia on a timely basis can mean the difference between life and death.

If you’ve been seriously injured because of an arrhythmia that was misdiagnosed and not properly treated, then contact a top-rated skilled Houston, Texas medical malpractice lawyer for help in evaluating your potential case. It’s important to remember that arrhythmia malpractice, like other types of medical malpractice, is generally subject to a two-year statute of limitations under Texas law.

Robert Painter
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Robert Painter

Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas. Contact him for a free consultation and strategy session by calling 281-580-8800 or emailing him right now.