Most Common Causes of Cardiology-Related LawsuitsDecember 3, 2019
Cardiologists often treat patients who have serious health issues, including severe hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, cardiomyopathy, and coronary artery disease. These are serious, life-threatening illnesses that require an accurate and timely diagnosis, a combination of medications, and in some cases, complicated surgical procedures. While the goal of a cardiologist is to provide patients with the best medical care, cardiac cases can be extremely complex, and even the most highly skilled cardiologists are capable of making medical mistakes. Patients who suffered serious health complications from a medical error involving a cardiologist should consider pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The Doctors Company, a physician-owned insurer, compiled a list of the top causes of medical malpractice lawsuits involving cardiologists. After examining 429 cardiology claims from 2007 to 2013, they found that the following were responsible for the highest percentage of medical malpractice lawsuits:
- Diagnosis errors: This includes a failure to make a diagnosis, an incorrect diagnosis, or a delayed diagnosis. These accounted for 25 percent of malpractice lawsuits. According to a cardiologist at Bassett Medical Center, most lawsuits in this category involved a failure to diagnose myocardial infarction (MI) because it is often complicated by a number of different symptoms. In addition, there are a wide range of diagnostic tests, the results of which can be unclear. Other conditions, like aortic dissection, can mimic MI, which can lead to an error in diagnosis. It is important for doctors to manage patients’ expectations and to understand how to correctly diagnose a myocardial infarction.
- Management of treatment errors: Examples of improper management of treatment include a failure to share information from one doctor to another during a shift change, lack of protocols for following up on tests, or having unreliable electronic medical records.
- Treatment or surgical errors: Even the most seasoned cardiologists experience complications, but potential complications are always discussed with patients prior to treatment. Lawsuits can occur if the complication was handled poorly by the physician. For example, if a patient experienced a retroperitoneal bleed during a procedure, the doctor could be sued for malpractice if they did not perform the proper imaging or failed to treat it.
- Medication errors: Most medication-related claims are related to bleeding complications involving anticoagulants. Amiodarone is also problematic as pulmonary fibrosis is a common side effect. There have been multiple lawsuits involving this drug.
While cardiologists and other health care professionals cannot control all aspects of a patient’s health, they can interact with patients and their families and discuss the procedure, the recommended treatment, the potential risks involved, and any questions or concerns that the patient might have. Patients often pursue legal action after feeling frustrated that no one is taking responsibility or providing the answers they need.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Cardiovascular Errors
If you or a loved one was injured, or your health was compromised in any way while under the care of a cardiologist, contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. We will conduct a thorough investigation into your case and hold the negligent party liable for your injuries. Our skilled legal team will obtain the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, we represent clients throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.