It has been estimated that missed, incorrect, or delayed diagnoses affect as much as five percent of—or 12 million—medical cases within the United States annually. Of those, about half of all diagnosis errors are harmful. For instance, a late or missed diagnosis of cancer can lead to a spread of the disease and result in unnecessary surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. Such a missed or misdiagnosis could also lead to reduced life span and death. Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed serious ailments include, but are not limited to:
- Pulmonary emboli (blood clot in the lungs)
- Heart attack
- Cardiovascular disease
- Lyme disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Other commonly misdiagnosed ailments include fibromyalgia, lupus, hypothyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, cluster headaches, and sacroiliac joint dysfunction. As a patient, being proactive can greatly improve your chances for survival. Look for warning signs of potential problems that your body gives you. Make sure your doctor knows your medical history and be clear about your symptoms. Request a differential diagnosis from your doctor, ask for tests to be done, follow up on the results, and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. You are your own first line of defense against misdiagnosis.
We have always been told to trust our doctors and that they have our best interests in mind. But at Kline & Specter, we understand how frightening it can be when your doctor has made a mistake and you feel as though there is no place else to turn. If you or a loved one have suffered from a delayed, missed, or misdiagnosis, don’t hesitate to call to speak with a malpractice attorney at Kline & Specter today.