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Woman dies after failed diagnosis of a heart attack

Medical misdiagnosis happens in Ohio as well as other places. Unfortunately, many of these mistakes can be fatal. One case in point occurred in West Virginia, and led to the victim’s family being awarded $4 million based on a physician’s failure to diagnosis the woman’s condition properly.

The beginning of this story took place in 2009 when a woman was transported from one medical facility to Wheeling Hospital. She was examined upon arrival by an emergency room doctor, who later discharged her with a diagnosis of “chest pain of unclear cause, and bronchitis.” Approximately 11 days later, the 43-year-old woman was discovered as being unresponsive in her home. She was pronounced dead upon arrival at a hospital in Martins Ferry, Ohio.

It was reported the jury felt that if the emergency room physician had performed a more thorough examination of the woman, he would have discovered the warning signs of an impending heart attack. Had a medical misdiagnosis not been made, the woman may be alive today. This was the basis of the jury’s decision to award $4 million.

While no amount of money can erase the grief and pain the victim’s family feels from their loss, the compensation they received can provide financial stability due to the loss of wages the woman contributed to her household as well as impose penalties to those responsible for her death. The penalties send a message to the medical field that failure to diagnosis properly can result in legal action and full accountability for medical errors.

Source:, “W.Va. jury awards $4m in medical malpractice case,” Sept. 30, 2011

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