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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
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Experience:  Lead Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
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About 5 or 6 years ago I went to the ER for chest pain and

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About 5 or 6 years ago I went to the ER for chest pain and tachycardia. I was told I had a sinus arrhythmia and referred to a cardiologist. Shortly after I lost my medical insurance (unrelated to ER visit) so I didn't see the cardiologist. After this I eventually was insured by kaiser. While insured by kaiser I saw my first doctor for fatigue and heart palpitations. I explained that my heart races, I have radiating pain in my chest, arms, neck, and jaw, and experience extreme fatigue during these episodes. I told him about the previous ER visit that I was told I had sinus arrhythmia and that I wanted to see a cardiologist. The doctor said I didn't need to, ran a few tests did an EKG and said I was fine that I was having panic attacks to see a psychiatrist. I said I don't have anxiety how can I have a panic attack. I didn't know what to do. A while later while working with a trainer at the gym I was working out and the same thing happened I also nearly passed out. This had already happened many times before this incident with my trainer but since the doctor told me I was fine I thought I was just in bad shape from not having exercised regularly in a few years. The second time it happened with my trainer she said I had to be medically cleared before we could resume training. So I went to a different doctor at kaiser. He had me take a treadmill stress test that lasted 9 minutes. I explained that when this was triggered by exercise I was already through with 45 minutes of a cardio workout and 10-15 minutes into a circuit training workout and that 9 minutes on a treadmill wouldn't cause my heart to do what I was describing when I complained of a racing heart and near fainting. They said I was fine and that because I hadn't eaten that's why I got dizzy during the test and they didn't need to continue. (The pre visit instructions I was given said not to eat before the appointment) this doctor also said I was having panic attacks and to talk to a psychiatrist. I said I want to see a cardiologist they said I didn't need to. I was very discouraged and distressed. I stopped exercising because I didn't want this to happen again it was very painful and quite literally physically exhausting sometimes I would sleep for hours after an episode because they would last 10-60minutes plus. It still happened. I also called kaiser directly trying to see a cardiologist but always was told I need a referral even when I explained I couldn't get one. Last Monday my heart did the same thing at school. I almost didn't go to the health center for help discouraged by my treatment from kaiser. But I did go. They had to call 911 and take me to the ER where I was diagnosed with SVT. Kaiser could have easily diagnosed this if they sent me to a cardiologist. Every time I had a SVT episode it was extremely painful. Even though it is extremely unlikely it carries a very small risk of death as well. Kaiser made me feel like I was being dismissed and I wondered if they were right when they told me it was panic attacks, but I knew I didn't have anxiety I did however begin to develop anxiety because I didn't want another SVT episode to occur. They caused me to have extreme emotional distress, I was afraid to exercise. I am no longer insured and can't get insurance because SVT is a pre existing medical condition. Kaiser could have found this and prescribed medication to prevent it or a procedure called ablation. I told 2 doctors, a stress test technician/nurse and a psychiatrist about my heart issue and that I wanted to see a cardiologist and not one of them helped me. I also called many times trying to get an appointment on my own no one at kaiser helped me. They could have saved me from literally years of physical and emotional pain if they just listened to me instead of dismissing me because I'm a young woman. (26 now about 21-24 when I was insured with kaiser) Does this fall under negligence because I think they should pay for the care I will need now. I will either need medication for the rest of my life, a procedure, and a very small possibility of surgery. I won't know which until I see a cardiologist next week. But as of right now I have to pay out of my own pocket because I can't get insurance. I am a working student who receives financial aid and I'm trying to get health insurance from the state. Does this fall under negligence is this actionable?

Thank you for your question and I'm very sorry to hear about your situation.

Your situation probably does fall under negligence (medical malpractice) for the failure to properly diagnose you and send you to a specialist for evaluation.

It is actionable. However, the issue here is finding someone to represent you and establishing your damages. The issue here is that a medical malpractice suit requires an up front investment, either by you personally or the lawyer representing (if on a contingency basis), to pay for a cardiologist to provide a preliminary opinion that the Kaiser doctors were in fact negligent in their diagnosis and this negligence resulted in the damage you are now living with. Thus, you may need to invest some considerable time in finding a lawyer.

What I mean is that you need to start calling around to different medical malpractice lawyers in your local area and set up some appointments. These cases are very difficult to place sometimes, so don't be discouraged if you have to meet with more than one lawyer before you find one to take the case. They will be sometimes hesitant because they have a large initial investment that they will need to make on the case (if you don't want to pay for it yourself...and you should always attempt to get the lawyer to do it in these kind of cases).

Once you get the lawyer and get a preliminary negligence opinion, you may be able to settled your case.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
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