Emergency medicine 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 myocardial infarction medicolegal pitfalls.
* Failure to diagnosis a myocardial infarction is the leading cause of litigation against emergency department clinicians and cardiologists.
* Consider atypical presentations in elderly patients, patients with diabetes, and women. Assess all patients carefully, especially if they have significant cardiac risk factors.
* Review all ECGs that are obtained in a prompt fashion because time is crucial.
* Obtain cardiology consultation whenever the diagnosis is questionable.
* Consider an echocardiogram to assess wall motion abnormalities in difficult cases with nondiagnostic ECGs, such as with an LBBB.