If you are like most people in Pennsylvania, you might automatically think about chest pain, especially on the left side of the body, when you think about a symptom of a heart attack. This is certainly a common thing for a person having a heart attack to experience but it is far from the only symptom. In fact, women, in particular, are likely to experience symptoms other than or in addition to chest pain when having a heart attack.
Unfortunately, doctors seem to attribute many of the symptoms in women to other problems and end up not accurately diagnosing a heart attack in a female patient. As reported by Healthline, one study published in a journal called Circulation indicated that female heart attack patients were more likely than men to experience three or more non-chest symptoms. In these patients, doctors did not connect these non-chest symptoms to a heart problem in just over 36 percent of men but in 53 percent of women.
An upset stomach, for example, might be attributed to something like acid reflux when it could really be indicative of a heart attack. Other symptoms often missed include lightheadedness, nausea and shortness of breath. It is important for women to educate themselves about these symptoms so that they can appropriately advocate for themselves.
If you would like to learn more about how to get help for you or a loved one when a medical professional fails to adequately diagnose a problem, please feel free to visit the missed or incorrect diagnosis page of our Pennsylvania medical malpractice website.