How similar is a panic attack to a heart attack?

| Apr 7, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

If you believe that you had a heart attack, the last thing you want is for your doctor to make a mistake and send you home, believing that nothing serious is wrong with you. If they tell you that it’s something else, whether it’s stress, anxiety, indigestion or even a pulled muscle, then you’ll want your physician to be 100% confident in their diagnosis. If you go home and have a heart attack, it could prove fatal when doctors could have saved your life at the medical center. 

Unfortunately, mistakes like this do happen, and they can have dire consequences. Just how similar are heart attacks and relatively minor issues, like panic attacks? 

There are similarities, along with a key difference

Certainly, there are similarities between the two conditions. Some symptoms that may show up with both panic attacks and heart attacks include:

  • The onset of chest pain or a tight feeling in your chest 
  • Shortness of breath or an inability to catch your breath
  • A sense that your heart is racing and not beating like normal 

One key difference to consider is how the issue began. Many times, people who have panic attacks are at rest. Their body may respond to an exterior stimulus, which triggers a fight or flight response. 

Most individuals who suffer heart attacks do so while doing something difficult or strenuous. That individual’s heart adversely responds to this intense activity in such instances. There are some rare instances in which a heart attack can occur at rest, though.

Did your doctor make a mistake?

If your doctor made an error that led to serious injury or loss of a loved one, then you should hold them liable for their actions. An attorney can advise you of the legal options that you may be able to pursue to ensure the same never happens to anyone else.