If you are not feeling well and go to the doctor, you expect to find out what is causing you to be sick. Sometimes doctors can tell what is wrong after your initial visit. Sometimes it takes additional testing for a medical professional to come to a diagnosis. And in either situation, there is a possibility the conclusion is wrong and you are faced with a medical misdiagnosis.
One in 20 American adults are faced with a medical misdiagnosis each year. That accounts for as many as 12 million people. The consequences of a medical misdiagnosis vary depending on the severity of the illness. There are, however, some illnesses doctors commonly misdiagnose that could lead to serious complications:
- Stroke: While a stroke can happen to anyone, The American Heart Association warns that people under the age of 50 are often misdiagnosed when they head to the emergency room complaining of numbness in the face and arms, confusion, and problems with walking or talking. These are common symptoms of a stroke but are often dismissed as vertigo, migraines or alcohol intoxication. Failure to treat a stroke can lead to paralysis, difficulty talking or swallowing, and memory loss or cognitive impairment.
- Appendicitis: Abdominal pain and nausea can be caused by a number of medical problems but a misdiagnosis of appendicitis can be dangerous. If the appendix bursts and fluids make their way into the abdominal cavity, it can cause an infection which may go undetected and become life-threatening.
- Cancer: Symptoms that may mimic other diseases may cause some doctors overlook cancer and therefore affect a person’s course of treatment. The most common misdiagnosed cancers include breast cancer, colorectal cancer, stomach cancer and pancreatic cancer.
There are other illnesses commonly misdiagnosed by doctors with less serious side effects but still cause discomfort and a disruption of daily life which include:
- Celiac Disease
- Thyroid conditions
- Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis
Doctors and medical professionals take an oath to provide the best medical care possible for their patients. It is their job and they should be held to the highest standards. If you or a family member has suffered from a serious illness due to a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnosis, you have rights. Contact the experienced attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., to help you recover the damages you deserve.