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Don’t miss a beat this World Heart Rhythm Week: know the symptoms of cardiovascular disease

Written by:
Daniel Opare

World Heart Rhythm Week is an annual campaign run by Arrhythmia Alliance to bring awareness to the symptoms of cardiovascular disease and the potentially serious consequences of ignoring them.

Cardiovascular disease is currently the number one cause of death in Australia and globally. It has been estimated that 1 in every 6 Australians are affected by cardiovascular disease, making it vital that we all understand the symptoms and seek urgent medical advice if we experience them.

At Shine, we are unfortunately all too familiar with the devastating consequences that can occur when symptoms of cardiovascular disease are ignored or overlooked. Our medical negligence lawyers have acted for many clients who suffered injuries, or lost loved ones, as a result of cardiac conditions being misdiagnosed and mismanaged by medical professionals.

What is cardiovascular disease?

Cardiovascular disease encompasses a range of circulatory conditions, including:

  • Heart attack;
  • Stroke;
  • Angina;
  • Arrhythmias;
  • Coronary artery disease; and
  • Heart valve disease.

Common symptoms of cardiovascular disease include:

  • Chest pain, pressure or discomfort;
  • Discomfort which radiates to the arm, shoulder, elbow, jaw or back;
  • Heart palpitations;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Dizziness or feeling light-headed;
  • Weakness or fatigue; and
  • Nausea.

If you experience any of these cardiovascular disease symptoms, it is important that you seek urgent medical advice from a doctor or hospital. You should report all of your symptoms and voice any concerns that you have.

Diagnosing cardiovascular disease

Doctors in Australia are well trained to identify cardiovascular disease and to order appropriate tests to investigate your symptoms; which may include an ECG, blood tests, angiograms and medical imaging. It is often necessary for these to be performed urgently, to ensure the patient has the best chance of early diagnosis and treatment.

Unfortunately, in rare instances, cardiovascular disease misdiagnoses and errors do occur, which can result in serious injury or death.

Common scenarios include:

  • Misdiagnosing cardiovascular disease as a different or less severe condition, such as a chest infection or a musculoskeletal injury;
  • Failing to refer a patient for urgent tests or investigations; and
  • Failing to treat the cardiovascular disease appropriately once it is diagnosed.

Cardiovascular disease medical negligence – how Shine Lawyers can help

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or death due to a cardiovascular condition being misdiagnosed or mismanaged by a medical professional, we encourage you to get in touch with us via phone or our contact form below, for an obligation-free consultation.

Written by Daniel Opare. Last modified: May 29, 2020.

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