Schlachman, Belsky & Weiner, P.A.

Baltimore Law Blog

When serious health conditions arise, it is essential that individuals in Maryland be provided proper treatment and medical care in order to effectively address the injury or illness. There are many factors that play into proper treatment, beginning with proper education to help patients and professionals recognize the symptoms of serious health conditions.

For example, when a person suffers a heart attack, the standard treatment plan includes providing aspirin to the patient within 24 hours and upon discharge, and using angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) and beta blockers. When patients go to the hospital due to a heart attack, hospitals are urged to use oxygen to help the patient breathe, as well as to provide aspirin early on, which can decrease the patient's chance of dying. Patients may also receive morphine to control their pain and thrombolytics to dissolve any blockages that may be present in their arteries. On occasion, surgery may be necessary to remove these blockages.

Of course, while it is important for individuals to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack, patients often depend heavily on doctors and other health professionals to diagnose and treat a heart attack. Where there is a failure to diagnose a heart attack by the doctor, it can lead to a worsened medical condition, which can cause further injury or even death.

Ultimately, doctors are trained to properly care for patients, and therefore it is simply inexcusable when they make mistakes that injure the patient. In cases where a doctor's failure to diagnose or properly treat a heart attack constitutes a violation of the doctor's duty of care, the injured patient may have a lawsuit to bring for medical malpractice.

Source: Maryland Hospital Performance Evaluation Guide, "Quality care for heart attacks," accessed Oct. 17, 2014

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