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Posted on 19th July 2017

32 Year Old Died From A Heart Attack Misdiagnosed As Asthma

The 32 year old male attended his doctor in October 14 and during the consultation was offered an inhaler designed for smokers. 24 hours later the man died from heart failure.

The wife of the man had recorded a conversation she had with her husband following the appointment with his GP. Despite the male not being asthmatic, the doctor still prescribed asthma medication.

At an inquest, the coroner decided that the care given to the patient was a factor in his death but the GP at the centre of the allegation insists he did nothing outside of the correct procedures although he could have checked for coronary artery disease - but didnt because the condition is uncommon in a man aged 32.

The solicitor acting for the family thinks that if the circumstances surrounding the man’s attendance at his GP surgery had been fully investigated, the death of the 32 year old could have been avoided.

The coroner commented “This consultation represented a missed opportunity to have excluded or further investigated a cardiac cause.


This case hinges on whether the GP who prescribed the inhaler correctly followed procedure or not. In medical negligence terms, this is called Breach of Duty.

Breach of Duty looks at the standard of care that a reasonable body of experts in the same area of medicine would provide. If it is found that the GP in question had done everything to the same standard as could be expected, a claim for clinical negligence will fail.

If however it is found that a reasonable body of medical experts in the same area of medicine would have checked for coronary artery disease as a routine, a claim for medical negligence would succeed.

If you or a loved have been misdiagnosed and that misdiagnosis has caused further injury or death, contact us on 0330 355 9210 or for a free claim assessment.