It's most basic form a means an abnormal heart rhythm.
What is the significance of an abnormal heart rhythm?
It can have significant implications. Importantly it means that the heart is not working properly.
Our hearts are hardwired to send signals and impulses to tell the different parts of our heart to beat at the appropriate time and rate. This way it allows the blood to flow through our body and provide us with nutrients and oxygen to sustain us during everything we do.
A heart arrhythmia can be potentially fatal. The signals can get trapped or diverted and now the heart is left without the proper information on how to pump. When that happens, the results are often fatal.
How does that apply to a failure to diagnose case?
There are specific heart tests that can be done which will oftentimes reveal cardiac abnormalities. Some of those tests include a cardiac sonogram, and a cardiac MRI. In addition one of the most prevalent diagnostic tests currently available include the use of an EKG, also known as an electrocardiogram.
Many of the failure to diagnose a heart attack involve a doctor or hospital staff misinterpreting the cardiac tests. Many cardiologists will ignore the computerized EKG reading even though it's designed to help them identify abnormalities.
In a failure to diagnose a heart attack case, the key argument is:
"If the doctor had recognized these abnormalities earlier, what treatment would have been available and would earlier diagnosis and treatment have changed or altered the outcome?"