Cardiology Expert Witnesses
The comprehensive expertise needed for cases involving heart disease
Cardiology is a medical specialty that deals with heart disorders, including congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease, and electrophysiology. Cardiologists are doctors who specialize in this medical field – note that they should not be confused with cardiac surgeons.
In the United States, following medical school, cardiologists must complete a three-year residency in internal medicine. After completing their residency, they must complete a three-year fellowship in cardiology, during which they specialize in diagnosing and treating heart and cardiovascular diseases. Upon completing their fellowship, they may become board-certified in cardiology by passing an examination administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).
Disorders that cardiologists treat
The human heart has numerous anatomical features (e.g., atria, ventricles, heart valves) and numerous physiological features (e.g., systole, heart sounds, afterload) that are of concern to cardiologists. The electrical part of the heart is centered on the periodic contraction (squeezing) of the muscle cells that is caused by the cardiac pacemaker located in the sinoatrial node. The mechanical part of the heart is centered on the fluidic movement of blood and the heart's functionality as a pump.
Cardiology is concerned with various disorders of the heart and vascular system. Some of the conditions cardiologists treat include:
- Disorders of the coronary circulation, including acute coronary syndrome (ACS), coronary heart disease, restenosis, and myocardial infarction (heart attack).
- Cardiac arrest, a medical emergency in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops pumping blood.
- Disorders of the myocardium (heart muscle), such as cardiomyopathy, heart failure, cor pulmonale, myocardial rupture, and heart tumors.
- Disorders of the pericardium (outer lining of the heart), such as constrictive pericarditis, pericardial effusion, and pericardial tamponade.
- Disorders of the heart valves, such as aortic stenosis, mitral valve prolapse, pulmonary insufficiency, and tricuspid insufficiency.
- Congenital heart defects, such as bicuspid aortic valve, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and tetralogy of Fallot.
- Vascular diseases, such as aneurysms, aortic dissection, deep vein thrombosis, vasculitis, and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
Cardiology malpractice case matter
Because of the heart's central role in human health, cardiology malpractice can have devastating consequences for victims. Examples of cardiology malpractice include:
- Misdiagnosis of a heart condition.
- Prescribing an incorrect medication for a heart condition.
- Failure to properly monitor a patient’s condition for heart attack or stroke risk.
- Failure to properly interpret tests such as stress tests.
An experienced, Board-Certified cardiologist can review medical records and explain whether the standard of care was met or breached.
The role of a cardiologist in an injury case
Many types of accidental injuries can affect the cardiovascular system, especially if the victim sustained a blow to the chest or developed blood clots due to an injury. In these circumstances, causation is often disputed. For instance, if a plaintiff had a heart attack after a car accident, an experienced cardiologist can offer a professional opinion on whether the heart attack was caused by the accident or by a pre-existing medical condition.
In addition, a cardiologist can assess the long-term effects of an injury on cardiovascular health, including the likelihood that the plaintiff will require future surgery or other procedures and the cost of those procedures. Because of the substantial cost of managing heart conditions, this can play a significant role in determining appropriate compensation.
Find the cardiology expert witness you need
Cardiology is a complex and highly specialized medical field, and the right expert can make all the difference in a malpractice or personal injury case. Our network includes Board-Certified cardiologists available for consultations, deposition, and trial testimony. Contact us today to speak with a member of our team about your case.