Failure to Treat Heart Failure
February is American Heart Month. American Heart Month is a federally designated event meant to place focus on heart health to reduce heart disease, heart attacks and heart failure. While failure to treat heart failure may contribute to a small number of deaths from heart failure; any is too many.
Data from the CDC shows that about 5.7 million adults in the United States have heart failure. In 2009, one in nine deaths included heart failure as a contributing cause. About half of people who develop heart failure die within five years of diagnosis which makes treatment the difference between life and death.
What is heart failure?
For our bodies to function properly, we depend on our heart to pump oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to cells throughout the body.
Heart failure does not mean that the heart is literally “failing” to beat and that death is imminent. What it does mean is that the heart is weak and isn’t pumping as well as it should be. Congestive heart failure is a type of heart failure that requires prompt medical attention, but sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably.
Rise in heart failure expected
According to the American Heart Association heart failure diagnoses are expected to “increase dramatically” in the coming years. Diagnoses are projected to rise by 46 percent by 2030, resulting in more than 8 million people with heart failure. The reasons for the expected increase in the condition are:
- More people are surviving heart attacks because of medical advances
- Continued increase of Americans with obesity and Type II diabetes
- The elderly are particularly vulnerable to heart failure and the senior population is growing
Treatment options for heart failure
Heart failure is a serious condition without a sure cure but with proper treatment and lifestyle changes many people live full lives.
According to the American Heart Association, treatment plans for heart failure may include:
- Diet and exercise changes
- Heart/cholesterol medications
- Surgical procedures
- Ongoing care/follow-up with healthcare team
Failure to treat heart failure
While it is essential for heart failure patients to make lifestyle changes, medications and surgeries are often necessary parts of a heart failure treatment plan set out by a doctor. If a patient describes symptoms of heart failure such as fatigue, shortness of breath and/or coughing and a medical professional fails to check blood pressure, check the patient’s heart rate, order follow-up tests, communicate test results or create an appropriate treatment plan then he or she may have acted negligently. This means that the doctor’s care was below the standard of care expected of qualified medical professionals in similar circumstances.
If you have lost a spouse or parent who you are dependent on because of failure to treat heart disease you may be able to recover damages with the help of a medical malpractice lawyer.
If you were injured because of medical negligence or lost a loved one due to a preventable medical error, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced medical malpractice attorney fight for justice on your behalf. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a medical negligence lawyer. Call the most experienced practicing medical malpractice attorneys Bellingham has at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing people injured by medical negligence in Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!