Unfortunately, there is no single test that can predict a heart attack.
With that in mind, however, there are many different tests that can be used together in order to determine if you are at risk for a heart attack, or have recently experienced minor heart failure. Your doctor should use more than one of these methods to make sure your heart is healthy, and possibly recommend you to a New York cardiologist who specializes in heart health if you’re not.
How Do Doctors Check Your Heart’s Health?
A physical examination is the first step in considering your overall health and the strength of your heart. This includes measuring your weight, checking your blood pressure, and listening to your heart and lungs. You will probably be asked many questions about your medical history and any symptoms you may have experienced. It is vital that you answer honestly to ensure that your doctor has the full picture and can provide you with an accurate diagnosis.
You may have to give blood, which is then analyzed at a lab to check your sodium and potassium levels and other health indicators. An electrocardiogram is also quite common if you have concerns about your hearth health. Small electrodes are attached to your chest and a machine records your heart rhythm, frequency of beats, and similar information. You might also be asked to wear a Holter monitor for a day or two, which records your heart activity throughout the day and night.
Your doctor can also use a physical stress test to see how well your heart handles daily activity. This is done by hooking you up to a heart monitor, then having you walk on a treadmill. The pace speeds up, and the treadmill inclines to increase your heart rate and mimic exercise. All of these tests and more can be used in combination to see how well your heart functions in different situations.
Ignoring or Not Providing Testing Is Negligent
If your doctor does not use these tests, or ignores the information you provide, then it can lead to a failure to diagnose potential heart risks. The rate at which doctors fail to diagnose heart issues properly is alarmingly high, even though early diagnosis is very important for treatment and recovery. In fact, failure to diagnose is about twice as common for female patients compared to men. If you or a loved one has suffered due to a failure to diagnose a heart attack, then call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, at (212) 986-7353.