What to do if a hospital never bothered to look at my previous heart tests and performed an unnecessary angioplasty?

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What to do if a hospital never bothered to look at my previous heart tests and performed an unnecessary angioplasty?

I was recently on vacation when I experienced chest pain that nitro glycerin would not alleviate. I called the ambulance and was treated in the ER. Tests at that time showed no evidence of an emergent problem. I was admitted to the hospital for further tests 24 hours later on Monday, when the hospital imaging departments were open. I told the doctors repeatedly that my previous echo-cardiograms and stress tests were available online via the Vanderbilt web portal that I have access to. I also gave the doctors and nurses my cardiologist’s contact info.

Asked on May 16, 2013 under Malpractice Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You may have a malpractice case, since from what you write, it may have been negligent, or careless, to not have reviewed the prior tests (at least, if reviewing said tests would have caused them to not perform the surgery). If this was malpractice, you could potentially recover your out-of-pocket (not picked up by insurance) medical costs; any lost wages, if you missed work; and potentially pain and suffering, IF you suffering any moderately long-lasting  diminution of quality of life due to the surgery. If you did suffer pain & disability or incur a large economic loss of some kind, it would be worthwhile to consult with a malpractice attorney to explore whether you have a claim and what it might be worth.


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