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Women Not Receiving the Prompt Medical Care for Heart Attack that Men Typically Receive

A new study published in Circulation:  Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes shows that women experiencing cardiac symptoms were much less likely than men to receive prompt medical care after calling 9-1-1.  If a woman is having cardiac symptoms: "It turns out that (she is) more likely to be delayed from the time of symptom onset, through transport and all the way to definitive care," explains Thomas W. Concannon, Ph.D., the study's lead author and assistant professor of medicine at the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Mass.

An acute heart attack occurs when a blocked vessel restricts blood flow to an area of the heart muscle. The lack of blood flow means this area of the heart is deprived of oxygen. The longer a heart attack victim goes without receiving medical treatment, the longer the heart muscle goes without receiving oxygen. This oxygen deprivation causes significant, and sometimes irreversible, damage to the heart muscle. A phrase used by critical care professionals to underscore the importance of timely treatment is: "time lost equals muscle lost."

According to Concannon, "Delays of 15 minutes have been shown to contribute to a significantly larger area of damage to heart muscle in patients with heart attack. While our study included patients with any cardiac related symptom, we studied 15 minute delays because of their potential for harm in patients with heart attack."

If you or someone you love suffered injury or death because of delay in diagnosing or treating a heart attack, you should contact the lawyers at Berger & Lagnese for a free consultation.  The lawyers at Berger & Lagnese specialize in medical malpractice cases involving the failure to diagnose and treat heart attack.