Misdiagnosis is one of the most common types of medical malpractice and can have devastating results. If you receive the wrong misdiagnosis, you may not be able to treat your actual condition soon enough. Here are the most common diseases that are misdiagnosed.
Cancer frequently gets diagnosed by doctors. They may fail to ask patients enough questions or order sufficient testing. Some cancers can progress pretty quickly, so receiving a misdiagnosis can be life-threatening. Cancer frequently gets misdiagnosed for bronchitis, irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis and asthma.
Stroke is also often misdiagnosed, especially in younger patients. Doctors may misdiagnose patients with conditions like migraines and vertigo. Unfortunately, failing to treat stroke soon enough can lead to paralysis, brain damage and even death.
Heart attacks are one of the most common causes of death and also frequently misdiagnosed. They have symptoms similar to other health conditions, such as indigestion or anxiety. Doctors also frequently misdiagnose heart attacks in younger patients.
Depression might not be a physical condition, it should not be taken lightly. Without proper treatment, depression can be debilitating. Patients may even be at a higher risk of suicide If doctors do not perform both a physical exam and mental health evaluation, they might not diagnose depression correctly. Depression is most frequently misdiagnosed at attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome and anemia.
Fibromyalgia causes muscle soreness, joint pain, anxiety and fatigue and is frequently misdiagnosed. The condition has similar symptoms to lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.
How to Reduce the Risk of Misdiagnosis
Receiving a misdiagnosis can have serious effects on your health. However, you can take steps to reduce your risk of misdiagnosis.
- Ask Questions. As a patient, you should never be afraid to ask your doctor too many questions. It is important to be as informed as possible. If you need clarification or something does not seem quite right, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about it.
- Get a Second Opinion. If you have doubts about your diagnosis or don’t think your doctor is providing proper care, do not hesitate to get a second opinion from another physician. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Getting Compensation for a Misdiagnosis
If you’ve been misdiagnosed by a doctor, you should reach out to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer, like one from Darrell Castle & Associates. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. A lawyer can help you bring a timely claim against the negligent doctor and protect your rights.
When you come in for your initial consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer, be prepared to answer several questions about your case, such as when you last saw your doctor and what types of health effects you suffered from your misdiagnosis. If you have any documents pertaining to your case, such as medical records, bring them to the meeting.