Myocardial Infarction or Heart Attack


Arizona Medical Malpractice Lawyers for the Victims of Myocardial Infarction

A myocardial infarction is the medical term for a heart attack.  It occurs when the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen and some of the heart tissue begins to die as a result. The lack of sufficient oxygen may be the result of a number of causes, including narrowing of the arteries which supply the heart with oxygenated blood, a blood clot which blocks a coronary artery or a spasm of one of the coronary arteries.

Chest Pain and Oxygen Supply

When the heart muscle gets too little oxygen, the victim may begin to feel chest pain. If the oxygen supply is quickly restored, permanent damage may be avoided.  If the oxygen supply is not quickly restored, heart tissue may begin to die.  If too much heart tissue dies, the heart attack will be fatal.  A heart attack may also cause a change in the heart rhythm, which often causes death as well.  Even if the patient survives the initial heart attack, they may have lost so much heart tissue that they are extremely limited in what they can do. Dead heart tissue turns to scar tissue, which does not beat and cannot help move blood through the body.  These people are sometimes referred to as cardiac cripples.

Although a heart attack is usually accompanied by pain, that pain can appear in a number of places.  It may be felt in the chest, in the jaw, radiating down the arm, in the back or upper abdomen.  Even a normal EKG does not mean that the patient is not having a heart attack.

Misdiagnosis May Be Medical Malpractice

Heart attack victims are usually initially seen and treated in an emergency department. Because the symptoms are variable, heart attacks are sometimes misdiagnosed by medical personnel, often as indigestion.  Where symptoms may be heart attack related, the failure to rule out heart attack before discharging a patient is likely to be malpractice.

Contact Our Phoenix, Arizona Medical Malpractice Law Firm for Claims Involving Myocardial Infarction

Contact us at (602) 648-3200 about any medical negligence that you or a loved one may have experienced anywhere in Arizona resulting in a failure to diagnose or properly treat myocardial infarction.  Consultations are free and confidential.