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Woman suing clinic for failing to diagnose her heart disease


An Oregon woman says that not one, but two doctors at the same clinic failed to diagnose a heart condition that later caused her a heart attack and put her at risk of needing a transplant. She and her husband are suing the facility, Bend Memorial Clinic (BMC), for medical malpractice.

The Bend Bulletin recently reported on the lawsuit. According to the article, the woman visited BMC five times over several months in 2014. One time, she told the doctor examining her that she had been feeling chest pain and experiencing sweating, nausea, exhaustion and other symptoms for three weeks. The doctor ordered a series of tests, but failed to test sufficiently to rule out a heart attack, the lawsuit says.

About two months later, the woman returned to BMC, this time with her husband. Another doctor took the appointment. This time, the woman complained of pain radiating from the middle of her back to her chest every morning, and told the doctor she felt like she was having a heart attack. The husband also expressed concern. The plaintiffs say the doctor should have sent the woman to the emergency room, but that did not happen.

Three weeks later, the woman went into cardiac arrest. She survived, but is now too weak to work at the day care she owned. She may need a heart transplant or heart pump in the future, and could need to move into a nursing home eventually. She and her husband are suing for $8.75 million.

While people who have never had a heart attack might think of it as a sudden medical emergency, they usually start slowly, with growing pain and discomfort, the American Heart Association says.