Heart Attack Misdiagnosed as Bronchitis in 39-Year-Old ED Patient; $2M Settlement

November 25, 2020 | Strategic Insights for Health System


A 39-year-old emergency department (ED) patient who was experiencing a myocardial infarction was misdiagnosed as having bronchitis, and he died the next day. In a lawsuit brought by his estate, the parties have settled for $2 million in New Jersey state court, reports an article in the August 2020 issue of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts.

An ambulance brought the patient, who was having trouble breathing, to the hospital. He underwent an electrocardiogram (EKG). A cardiologist performed an overread of the EKG results, which were consistent with a myocardial infarction. Although the cardiologist claimed that he called the emergency physician and informed him that he suspected a heart attack based on the EKG, the emergency physician claimed that the cardiologist never informed him of the EKG findings. The emergency physician diagnosed the...

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