February is American Heart Month, bringing increased public awareness to the dangers of heart disease, heart failure, and heart attack. For the past 50 years, the American Heart Association has targeted the month of February as a month-long campaign to educate and inform Americans about heart health and heart risks. The federal government first joined with the AHA in fighting heart disease and heart attacks when President Lyndon Baines Johnson issued the first Presidential Proclamation in December 1963 and since February 1964 there has been an tremendous effort to fight against deaths and injuries sustained by Americans due to heart problems.
- About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year.
- One in 4 deaths in the United States are attributable to heart disease.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
- Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing more than 385,000 people annually.
- Every year about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 190,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.
- Coronary heart disease alone costs the United States $108.9 billion each year, covering things like health care services, medications, and lost productivity.
Personal Injury Claims Awareness During American Heart Month
Part of this national awareness campaign serves to educate people about the risks of heart disease and heart failure, as well as what to do if they are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or think they are seeing these signs in someone near to them.
Misdiagnosis or Mistreatment of Patients Resulting in Heart Attack or Heart Failure
However, another educational need during American Heart Month needs to be the reality that some heart attacks can be caused by doctors and health care professionals who fail to diagnose a heart problem or heart attack or those medical care providers who misdiagnose or otherwise err in dealing with a patient and a heart attack, fatal or not, is the result.
Misdiagnosis of heart issues is much more common than many people think, and it can result in someone dying from a cardiac arrest or heart attack because of the doctor’s mistake. (One example most people will remember: the wrongful death suit brought by the widow of actor John Ritter for misdiagnosis of his heart problems.)
Worker’s Compensation Claims Based Upon High Stress Job Heart Problems
Another issue that needs to be addressed in American Heart Month is the risk that some workers have on the job of cardiac arrest on the job and work-related heart attacks. Stress-related on the job cardiac events are a real danger to many American workers in this country and workers need to be aware that they may have a valid Worker’s Compensation claim based upon on the job work stress which has resulted in compromised heart health including coronary disease, angina, and other risks of heart failure or heart attack.