If a heart attack is caused by stress on the job, workers’ compensation should cover the medical expenses.
Feb 15, 2018 /prREACH/ -- It’s American Heart Month, a national celebration that was started in 1964 to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease. In the sixties, the hope was that by dedicating the month of February to heart disease that the public would be made aware of the causes and lives would be saved. But sadly, heart disease remains the number one cause of death and shockingly, the disease is now impacting more young adults than ever before.
Although there have been numerous advances in medicine which provide patients with heart disease an increased quality of life, there has also been an increase in the amount of stress that the average American feels on a daily basis.
In the past, doctors assumed that if a patient suffered a heart attack that they either had a cardiac defect or a blocked artery but research has now shown that a heart attack can be caused by extreme mental, emotional, or physical stress. This is known as stress cardiomyopathy.
One of the leading causes of stress comes from work, a fact that has been confirmed by therapists throughout the country. Today it seems like employees can never work hard enough, fast enough, or long enough and employers often pressure their employees to put in extra time. Not only does this result in mental and emotional stress but it can result in an employee taking on more than they can physically handle and this is when the heart can fail to hold up the load it is expected to carry.
In cases where stress cardiomyopathy occurs because of work stress, workers’ compensation should cover the cost of medical care but it is incredibly difficult for workers’ to prove that work resulted in their cardiac damage.
The Workers’ Comp Board requires an excessive amount of evidence to prove that a cardiac injury was caused by work and when someone is recovering from a heart attack that’s additional stress they don’t need, said Brian Mittman of Markhoff & Mittman, a workers’ compensation law firm. He hopes increased awareness about the causes of heart attacks will help to make this process easier.