UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Cardiology

Title: ACS and medicolegal issues

Keywords: acute coronary syndromes, misdiagnosis, risk management, lawsuit (PubMed Search)

Posted: 1/31/2010 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 1/18/2022)
Click here to contact Amal Mattu, MD

Missed cases of ACS account for 10% of all malpractice cases in emergency medicine, yet account for 30% of all the money emergency physicians pay out in malpractice cases. This misdiagnosis is the biggest cause of monetary payout in the specialty.

Three main themes account for the majority of missed cases of ACS:
1. Failure to recognize atypical presentations (e.g. dyspnea)
2. Failure to recognize high-risk groups (e.g. women, diabetics)
3. Over-reliance on negative tests (e.g. negative troponin or recent stress test)