Cardiac disease, heart disease and cardiovascular disease refer to disorders affecting the heart muscle and blood vessels or circulatory system. It is estimated that more than 6 million people in England are living with cardiovascular disease (CVD), and around 7 million throughout the UK. Cardiovascular disease is one of the nation’s leading killers and is responsible for a quarter of all deaths in the UK.
Cardiology is the specialist field of medicine which focusses on diagnosis and treatment of heart and circulatory disorders. It is one of the NHS in England’s largest specialist areas of medical care. Its work involves many different types of care in a variety of settings, including the management of patients with long-term heart and circulatory conditions, surgery and other invasive procedures, and emergency care.
Heart disease and cardiovascular conditions can be life-threatening, and often require urgent, specialist treatment, but many can be treated or managed with timely diagnosis and appropriate care. This serious, highly specialist area of medicine also gives rise to large numbers of claims, many associated with the patient’s death or severe, permanent injury and disability resulting from delays or mistakes in diagnosis and care.
Where a patient suffers severe injury or dies as a result of negligent care they, or their bereaved family, have a right to compensation.