Most New Mexico residents have been placed under extreme stress at some point in their lives. For some, stress can be accompanied by drastic physical symptoms, which may include headaches, difficulty sleeping, and an upset stomach. Others, though, may experience chest pain. Although this may just be a sign of stress, it might also be a symptom of a heart attack. Stress, while unhealthy over the long run, typically poses no immediate safety risk. A heart attack, on the other hand, can prove fatal.

Fortunately, with quick treatment, a heart attack may be stopped, thereby saving an individual’s life. However, this speedy and effective treatment is wholly dependent upon an accurate diagnosis by a medical professional. The first step to accurately diagnosing a heart attack is identifying its symptoms. These symptoms may include chest discomfort, pain or discomfort of the arm, back, or shoulder, a feeling similar to heartburn, sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath, and a rapid heartbeat.

Once symptoms are identified, a medical professional should conduct certain tests to confirm the diagnoses. An electrocardiogram can show whether the heart has been damaged, and blood tests can allow a doctor to measure heart-related enzymes that may be indicative of heart damage. An echocardiogram can illustrate how well the heart pumps blood, and cardiac catheterization can allow medical professionals to obtain a clear image of a blocked artery.

Although these testing options should be available to most, if not all, doctors, far too many medical professionals fail to either order these tests or accurately read test results. When this happens, innocent individuals can suffer extensive harm and even death. Those who unexpectedly lose a loved one due to medical malpractice, such as a failure to diagnose, may suffer extensive losses that are both emotional and financial in nature. Those surviving families who would like to explore their legal options in hopes of recovering compensation for their damages, obtaining accountability, and finding closure can speak with a qualified legal professional.