We all know that heart health is vital to not only longevity but also a better quality of life as a person ages.
But what do we actually know about the various types of heart conditions, some with scientific names? The most common are:-
- Angina (chest pain caused by narrowing of arteries, usually due to eating a high ‘bad’ cholesterol diet and smoking; it is a warning sign of a heart attack or stroke)
- Aortic aneurysm (swelling of the aorta caused by bulging in the blood vessel risking it bursting/ rupturing which may have catastrophic consequences)
- Aortic dissection (tear in the internal face of the aorta associated with sudden death)
- Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm which if become regular can damage the heart)
- Atrial fibrillation (abnormal electrical impulses which can lead to blood clots which may have catastrophic consequences)
- Cardiac arrest (heart attack or technically, a myocardial infarction)
- Cardiomyopathy (where the wall of the heart chambers have become stretched, thickened or stiff)
- Coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis (thickening or hardening of the arteries caused by a build-up of plaque in the inner lining. Angina is the most common symptom)
- Heart failure (this happens naturally in old age as the heart stops pumping as strongly leading to tiredness and water retention – it can be helped by medication but ultimately, leads to death).
It used to be considered that all fat caused the furring of arteries restricting blood flow, with devascularisation causing denervation of the extremities and the risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes/ heart attacks. However, we now know that this only applies to bad cholesterol and that ‘good fats’ like Omega-3 actually lock onto bad fats and effectively neutralise them (good cholesterol). Further, eating a balanced and non-processed diet will reduce your cardiovascular risks, ie: stick to your recommended five fruit and vegetables per day.
Non-negligent causes of heart problems or cardiac disease are a virus or old age
People often do not realise the strong connection, for instance, between oral hygiene and heart infections like myocarditis which can damage heart tissue; gum or periodontal disease causes bleeding and the harmful bacterium from the mouth enters the circulatory system. Further, it was learned early on in the pandemic that COVID-19 often affected the cardiovascular symptoms from lungs to the heart.
Recently, Columbia University reported studies into autopsied heart tissue from Covid sufferers finding that the infection damaged the way cells in the heart regulate levels of calcium, a mineral that plays an important role in how the organ contracts and pumps blood throughout the body.
There is a difference between inherited and acquired heart conditions
Negligence claims can relate to either inherited or acquired heart conditions. A delayed diagnosis of a heart condition so it deteriorates because medication or treatment is not given at an early stage, or a missed diagnosis of a heart attack could potentially be liable for claims. Women in particular regularly suffer from ‘non-traditional’ symptoms, such as a sudden feeling of anxiety like a panic attack or excessive wheezing or coughing, rather than the usual pains down the arms and in the left chest, nausea and extra tiredness, although both genders can experience these too.
Consulting an expert medical negligence solicitor, as soon as possible
At RHL Solicitors, our expert lawyers often act for families who have lost loved ones, whether young children or their older parents, due to a negligently undiagnosed or misdiagnosed heart condition which gets worse and takes the life when medication or an operation could have avoided fatal damage or extended the life by several years.
Damages are paid to the Estate’s representatives for the avoidable pain and suffering experienced, just like they are paid to a patient who has had their health irreparably damaged or life expectancy shortened due to such failures. Their dependants are also entitled to put in a claim for the lost years if they were financially supported.
RHL Solicitors’s experienced clinical negligence solicitors conduct thorough and rigorous clinical negligence investigations with the intention of establishing liability and recovering compensation, particularly if you are now unable to work due to negligence, acting under a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement.
The expert reports we disclose to the Defendant during the claim process can help to make a difference to future care.
We understand that no one would wish to begin the long and emotional journey of claiming damages against the medical profession without good cause. However, it’s crucial to ensure you seek the expert legal advice and support you need, as soon as possible, whilst the evidence is still fresh.
Contact our expert clinical negligence team who will be more than happy to discuss the matter further.
RHL Solicitors will have no delays or waiting times in advising you on your situation and will be quick to get you the support and care you deserve.