A cardiologist is a physician who studies, researches and treats conditions of the heart and blood vessels. They involve themselves with conditions like irregular heartbeats, coronary artery disease or congenital heart defects. A cardiologist can get sued by a patient and their family for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when there is an act or a failure to act by a cardiologist that falls below the standard of care in the specialty of cardiology that causes injury or death to a patient.
To bring a successful cardiology malpractice case, individual elements are required to be established. First, a duty must be shown when treatment of the patient was undertaken. A breach of that duty is then required to be demonstrated by the cardiologist’s failure to adhere to the standard of care. An injury must then result that’s the direct and proximate result of that breach. Finally, damages must be proved. Without any of these elements, the medical malpractice claim fails.
Issues in cardiology malpractice can be traced to four different danger zones. These danger zones include but aren’t limited to the following circumstances.
Legal issues on a diagnosis can include failure to make a diagnosis, making an incorrect diagnosis or delaying a diagnosis. This is most often seen in the context of myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack. A patient having a heart attack immediately after being given a clean cardiac bill of health can lead to a lawsuit against the cardiologist.
Management of treatment
Maintaining insufficient quality control of therapy, particularly sharing of information when the patient is passed off to another physician can lead to liability issues of the patient’s condition deteriorates. Failure to memorialize test results and make appropriate medical record entries exposes the cardiologist to liability.
Improper performance of a procedure or surgery
Indeed, there are known risks involved in cardiac procedures and surgeries that the cardiologist is aware of. Informed consent requires these risks of complications to be fully disclosed to the patient. If during or after a procedure or surgery a complication is suspected or has arisen, appropriate precautionary measures consistent with the standard of care should be taken. Lawsuits don’t arise from how complications are handled. They result from how complications are mishandled.
Mismanagement of medications
Prescribing anticoagulants increase the risk of a bleeding complication. Warfarin was used as an anticoagulant for 50 years, but it requires periodic monitoring along with dietary changes. If a bleeding complication arose, it was ordinarily controlled by administering vitamin K. It might appear that newer anticoagulants don’t require as much monitoring, and the patient need only take one or two of the new pills a day. With one of the new anticoagulant medications, though, if not properly monitored and a bleeding complication starts, there is no known antidote. The patient can bleed to death.