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Recognizing Myocardial Infarction in Women: A Case Study

Campo, Debra L. DNP, MBA, RN, CDOE

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: September 2016 - Volume 116 - Issue 9 - p 46–49
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000494694.48122.46
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The author presents the case of a 52-year-old woman who experienced symptoms of myocardial infarction (MI) over many months; neither her clinicians nor the patient—herself a nurse—recognized them. The author discusses the signs and symptoms of MI in women and highlights how failure to recognize them may lead to misdiagnosis and even death. This case illustrates how important it is that health care providers consider the possibility of heart disease in any woman whose symptoms could be cardiac in origin, even when the cause appears to be something else.

The author provides an overview of the signs and symptoms of myocardial infarction in women and highlights how the failure to recognize them in the case of one woman—herself a nurse—led to misdiagnosis and could have resulted in death.

Debra L. Campo is chairperson of Level I in the St. Joseph School of Nursing, North Providence, RI. Contact author: debra.campo@gmail.com. The author has disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

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