3 Diseases and Conditions That Are Commonly Misdiagnosed
When it comes to treating patients in a doctor’s office, emergency room, or any other healthcare facility, the first step to treating a patient’s condition is to determine an accurate diagnosis. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for certain conditions to be misdiagnosed.
When a patient is misdiagnosed, their health can quickly deteriorate, which can result in ineffective or incorrect treatments, added health problems, or even the patient’s death. While it is true that not all misdiagnosis situations will be grounds for a medical malpractice suit, there are many instances when an error occurred as a result of negligence on the part of either a healthcare professional or the facility.
It can help to be aware of three of the most common medical conditions and diseases that are misdiagnosed by health care providers. Here’s what you should know.
1. Heart Attack
For every individual, the feeling of a heart attack is different. Some people won’t feel symptoms at all, while others will experience common symptoms like chest pain and pain in the arm. It’s common for older people and younger people to have different symptoms when having a heart attack.
In addition, research suggests that women, unlike men, often do not experience chest pain, which is the classic symptom of heart attacks. For that reason, heart attacks in women frequently go misdiagnose, and men receive faster and more adequate care.
Due to the varying symptoms, it can be difficult to diagnose a heart attack. This is particularly true if the physician fails to perform electrocardiograms (ECGs), blood tests, and cardiac catheterization.
2. Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to digest gluten — a protein that is most often found in wheat, barley, and rye. Similar to a heart attack, the symptoms of celiac disease vary widely from one individual to the next. The symptoms can range from vomiting, diarrhea, and pain in the abdominal area to anemia and leg cramps.
In many cases, doctors will misdiagnose celiac disease as irritable bowel syndrome due to the symptoms being so similar. Research shows that 83 percent of individuals in America with the disease are either misdiagnosed with another condition or remain undiagnosed.
In addition, most people wait six to ten years to be properly diagnosed with celiac disease. During that time, other problems can arise, including reduced bone density, infertility, neurological disorders, other autoimmune diseases, and certain cancers.
3. Lyme Disease
Most people are familiar with Lyme disease — an infection that is typically associated with the bite of a tick. The most common and earliest symptom of this particular disease is a rash at the bite site. Later symptoms can include flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, muscle aches, and fatigue. If the disease is left untreated, symptoms may arise like severe headaches, heart arrhythmia, difficulty concentrating, numbness in limbs, and short-term memory loss.
Although the rash is the most common symptom of Lyme disease, it is not something that all individuals with the infection develop. This is why Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed for other conditions, including the flu. Some have even been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. Research has shown that individuals often go without the correct diagnosis of Lyme disease for a little over a year.
If you or a loved one is currently suffering from a medical condition that is worsening due to a misdiagnosis by a medical professional, then it is important that you realize that you may be eligible for monetary damages. Allow the legal experts at the Law Office of Scott M. Sandler, P.A. to evaluate your individual situation and determine if you have a malpractice case worth pursuing. Contact us today for a free evaluation.
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