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Doctors miss totally blocked artery, man dies of cardiac arrest

As any Covington resident with a history of heart problems can tell you, there are a number of medical tests that can reveal the nature and extent of the issues involved. One of those tests is an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) which "checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart," WebMD says.

When a 45-year-old man went to a hospital with stroke symptoms, doctors order an EKG test done. The test showed the man had suffered two heart attacks in the past, according to a news report. The ER physician saw the test results, understood the man's heart history and yet had the patient see a neurologist instead of a cardiologist.

The patient was admitted to the hospital and his personal physician later did a brief examination of him the following day. Three days later, however, he was discharged without anyone ever addressing his cardiac issues -- issues that included a completely blocked artery. Three days after that, he went into cardiac arrest.

He was in a coma for three weeks and then passed away.

When a jury in Connecticut heard the story, they ordered that the doctors involved pay the man's family $6 million. The family's medical malpractice attorney pointed out that if doctors had put a stent in the man's artery, "he could have survived."

The lawyer acknowledged that most physicians "work awfully hard and live up to their pledges to their patients, but there are a few that don't."

For families that have lost a loved one, or for patients who suffer harm at the hands of negligent Kentucky doctors, a conversation with a Covington attorney experienced in medical malpractice litigation and negotiations with insurers can help them take that first step in pursuit of justice.

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