The Four Most Misdiagnosed Medical Conditions
Taking care of yourself, leading a healthy lifestyle, and alerting your doctor to any health problems or symptoms you may be experiencing can all help to prevent potentially serious medical issues. Unfortunately, even when you do follow these steps, medical errors and misdiagnosis can occur. To be sure, a delayed or missed diagnosis leaves you without the proper medical treatment and can cause your symptoms to dramatically worsen. In some cases, this can cause permanent disabilities or even death.
Conditions Where a Misdiagnosis Is Often Made
Doctors are only human and cannot be expected to always know immediately what the underlying cause of a patient’s symptoms may be. However, they are expected to use their knowledge and expertise in considering all possibilities and in taking the appropriate precautions, which may include running diagnostic tests and performing medical interventions. Unfortunately, in too many situations this is simply not the case. According to studies by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), more than 12 million people throughout the United States are medically misdiagnosed each year.
Depending on the type of medical condition the patient suffers from, delays in diagnosis and treatment can have serious repercussions. Injuries and illnesses can end up causing long term damage and disabilities, while some diseases can spread past the point of being able to treat.
The medical community is keenly aware of the issue regarding missed diagnosis and professional organizations have taken steps to uncover why medical errors and mistakes occur, in order to better prepare physicians. The Florida Board of Medicine, which offers supplemental classes to doctors in our area on patient safety and error reductions, claims that the four most common types of medical conditions in which errors are made are:
- Cancer Related Diseases-Cancer symptoms can go undetected for long months or even years before a patient reports them to a doctor. Once they do, delays while the doctor considers other causes can end up reducing the potential for recovery.
- Respiratory Illnesses-Lung problems and breathing conditions such as COPD and asthma are increasingly common. Unfortunately, a delayed diagnosis can allow the condition to worsen and may prove life threatening.
- Cardiology Related Disorders-High blood pressure, high cholesterol, clogged arteries, and problems with heart function all increase your risks of suffering a major event, such as a heart attack or stroke. Not taking symptoms seriously, failing to properly monitor patients, and not running the appropriate tests are all common problems that can have tragic outcomes.
- OB/GYN Related Issues-Cervical and ovarian cancer can develop when women do not receive the appropriate health screenings or when doctors dismiss certain symptoms. During pregnancy, failing to uncover potentially serious problems can jeopardize the lives of both the infant and the mother.
Reach Out to an Attorney for Help Today
When a medical provider’s errors impact you or your loved ones, the Law Firm of William E. Raikes, III is here to help you hold them accountable. To discuss your situation with our Fort Pierce medical malpractice attorney, call or contact our office online to request a consultation today.