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Diagnosing cardiomyopathy

When a North Carolina resident has cardiomyopathy, they essentially have a heart that becomes enlarged, thick or rigid. As the condition continues to worsen, the heart has an increasingly more difficult time pumping enough blood to the body and maintaining a normal rhythm. While many patients never experience signs or symptoms of cardiomyopathy, others do.

Some patients do not experience the signs of cardiomyopathy until after the heart has already begun to weaken. The signs can include shortness of breath and trouble breathing, fatigue and swelling in the legs, abdomen and neck. A person who has an enlarged heart may also experience dizziness, fainting, arrhythmias and chest pain. The condition is usually diagnosed after a physical exam and diagnostic testing.

For the physical exam, the doctor will listen to the heart and lungs for certain sounds that could indicate heart disease. Swelling and other physical signs may also help with the diagnosis. Blood tests and chest X-rays may be a start when it comes to diagnostic testing. An electrocardiogram may be used to record the heart's electrical activity while an echocardiography may be done to create a moving picture of the heart, which may show its size and shape. More invasive diagnostic procedures may also be completed to confirm the diagnosis.

The failure to diagnose cardiomyopathy or other types of heart disease can be fatal or life-impacting. In some cases, a person who goes undiagnosed could experience heart failure and other serious consequences. If the condition was not diagnosed in a timely manner or the doctor failed to refer the patient for further diagnostic testing, the patient may have a viable medical malpractice claim. An attorney may look over the case utilizing expert witness testimony to determine what types of compensation the patient may be able to seek. If an agreement is not reached out of court, the case may go to trial.

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Daniel Pleasant Holoman LLP

Daniel Pleasant Holoman LLP
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