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Why women may not get proper care during a heart attack

Generally speaking, a woman's heart isn't any weaker than a man's. Therefore, they should have similar odds of surviving a heart attack given similar treatment. However, women are three times more likely to die from a heart attack within one year of having it than is a man. Women in Montana and around the country are often not given the same type of treatment that a man is given when experiencing this health issue.

A survey conducted in Sweden found that women were 34 percent less likely to receive a bypass procedure and have stents inserted into their arteries. One reason may be because doctors don't necessarily know when a woman is having a heart attack. Instead of having pain in their chest, they may have cold sweats, nausea and fatigue. In a study conducted in 2000, women were approximately seven times more likely than men to have their heart attack misdiagnosed.

Societal attitudes may also play a role when treating women for heart attacks. For many years, it was believed that the typical heart attack patient was a man between the age of 45 and 55 who worked hard his entire life. Furthermore, women may not seek out proper treatment out of fear that they may be a burden to others. Doctors may also conclude that a women's medical issues weren't worthy of surgery or medication to control symptoms.

If a patient's condition is not properly assessed, it could result in further harm. In some cases, a misdiagnosis may rise to the level of medical malpractice. An attorney representing such a patient will endeavor to show that the treating physician failed to exhibit the required standard of care.

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Towe & Fitzpatrick, PLLC
619 SW Higgins, Ste. O
P.O. Box 1745
Missoula, MT 59806

Phone: 406-203-5148
Phone: 406-829-1669
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