A third of patients are given the wrong diagnosis after a heart attack, a new study has revealed.
Researchers from the University of Leeds found that almost a third of people in England and Wales are given the wrong initial diagnosis following a heart attack. They found that women are more likely than men to receive an inaccurate diagnosis. The team used data from more than 600,000 patients collected over a nine year period. The study showed that women had a 50 percent higher chance of being given the wrong diagnosis than men.
In response to the study, NHS England representatives said they were working hard to try and improve diagnosis techniques and accuracy levels for patients who have suffered a heart attack.
The British Heart Foundation has encouraged people to be aware of the possible signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Speaking on a radio station, Dr Sarah Clark, consultant cardiologist at Papworth Hospital, said that often the symptoms are difficult to spot because they are very subtle. She added that men are more likely to report problems than women, perhaps because heart attacks are often associated with males rather than females.
Lisa Price suffered a heart attack after developing a blood clot following ankle surgery. she said that she assumed a heart attack caused you to slump to the floor with severe chest pain, but stated that her experience was very different. Her chest became incredibly tight and felt very heavy and she also felt a burning sensation, which she said felt like a firey cannon ball was making its way through her chest and back. Initially, she was told to take paracetamol, as doctors assumed the pain was caused by her operation.
Symptoms to look out for include dizziness and feeling light-headed, pain that can radiate from the chest into other parts of the body, sweating and struggling for breath.