Commonly Misdiagnosed Heart Attack Symptoms

Watch a few Hollywood actors and you’d guess that everyone having a heart attack looks and reacts in the same way. However, in real life, your reaction might be very different when a heart attack strikes.

No two heart attacks are the same. Women tend to have very different symptoms than men, and people of different ages and fitness levels experience different symptoms. Some studies show that race even plays a factor in the way a heart attack presents itself.

It’s confusing to know what a heart attack should look and feel like. Therefore, it is hard for you to know for sure what you’re experiencing when it happens. That’s why you rely on your doctor to properly diagnose your symptoms and run the necessary tests to determine what is happening in your body.

Is it a Heart Attack or Something Else?

Often, doctors make quick judgments based on your age, health, and symptoms. Some heart-attack symptoms are more difficult to spot than others are because they are similar to other health conditions, such as asthma or the flu. Following are 10 commonly misdiagnosed heart attack symptoms:


  1. Shortness of breath
  2. Back pain
  3. Non-radiating pain
  4. Lightheadedness
  5. Nausea and vomiting
  6. Flushed feeling
  7. Fatigue
  8. Difficulty sleeping
  9. Burning of the esophagus
  10. Heavy arms


These symptoms are not the typical ones people think of when it comes to a heart attack. That’s why they are so dangerous and so easy to miss.


If you experience any of these symptoms and feel like something isn’t right, it is important to seek medical care immediately at MedStar Washington Hospital Center or any nearby hospital in Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia. If your doctor does not make a proper diagnosis and you later find out that you had a heart attack, you might have a case against your doctor for medical malpractice. Talk to a medical malpractice lawyer about your specific situation for more details.


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