Diagnosing diseases and conditions which can manifest themselves in a myriad of ways is a complicated process. While doctors are not expected to come up with perfect diagnoses after only a few minutes with each client, a missed diagnosis which is not addressed within a reasonable amount of time can cost patients time, money, and even their lives.
When you go to the doctor or the emergency room with a complaint, keep in mind that doctors aren’t perfect and you may need to seek a second opinion. With that in mind, here are some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions which can lead to serious complications and health problems:
Cancer can take a wide variety of forms and can affect nearly every organ in the body. Because of this, cancer symptoms can masquerade as multiple different types of illnesses. Experts estimate that cancer is misdiagnosed about 28% of the time, with some types of cancer resulting in a misdiagnosis as much as 48% of the time.
Heart attacks can be commonly misdiagnosed as heart burn, stress, or anxiety. This is especially true for women, who do not show symptoms of a heart attack in the same “classic” ways that men do. In fact, women are misdiagnosed after a heart attack over seven times more frequently than are men.
Emergency room doctors are especially likely to miss signs of stroke, especially in younger patients. Strokes are often misdiagnosed as alcohol intoxication, migraine headaches, or vertigo.
An aortic dissection is a rupture in the aorta which is often fatal. Over a third of aortic dissections are missed, because the condition tends to present as simple back or abdominal pain.
One in three patients with a life-threatening pulmonary embolism is misdiagnosed with another lung condition like asthma, emphysema, or pneumonia.
All of these conditions and diseases can be fatal if left untreated. When a patient presents with symptoms which may be indicative of a serious condition, doctors have a responsibility to rule out more dangerous conditions before diagnosing the patient with a condition that is less serious.
When a misdiagnosis leads to a serious injury or complication, the doctor who failed to detect the condition can be liable for medical malpractice. However, it can be difficult to prove that a doctor’s negligence, and not the underlying condition itself, caused the actual injury. When your medical malpractice lawsuit relies on complicated evidence, you need an attorney who understands the medicine as well as the law. Attorney Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., is both a doctor and a lawyer. He and his team of dedicated legal and medical professionals use their expertise to help you get justice after an injury caused by medical negligence.
For a free consultation at the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq., call us today at (310) 289-2600 or use our online contact form to have your case reviewed for free.