Medical expert witness and Chief Editor of web-based eMedicine Dr. Erik Schraga would like legal professionals and experts to know that eMedicine offers continually updated clinical reference information which may prove useful in cases they are working on. The following excerpt on cardiology provides information on sudden cardiac death medicolegal pitfalls.
Medicolegal Pitfalls * Failure to recognize and initiate early management of patients with ischemic heart disease is a pitfall. The importance of this cannot be overestimated because approximately 80% of SCD cases can be attributed to ischemic heart disease.
* Failure to use appropriate medical therapy for ischemic heart disease (eg, beta-blockers) can be a pitfall.
* Involving a specialist in cardiovascular disease in the care of patients who have had a cardiac arrest or have symptoms of ischemic heart disease, valvular disorders, or presentations with complex arrhythmias is very important.
* Failure to educate patients about the consequences of noncompliance with medical therapy is an important pitfall to avoid.