When most people think about medical malpractice, they think about mistakes on the operating table or in the hospital room. However, one of the most common medical mistakes takes place in a lab or a doctor’s office: misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis.
There are two different dangers of a misdiagnosis. First, the disease or condition that you do have will go untreated for possibly dangerous amounts of time. Secondly, patients are often treated for the wrong disease, which can lead to complications as well. Here are the five most common types of misdiagnosis:
- Aorta tears, also known as aortic dissection, can often be misdiagnosed as heartburn or heart attack. Not treating the true heart problem can be deadly.
- Heart disease and clogged arteries, and coronary artery disease are often overlooked by doctors who tell their patients that they simply need to lose weight and start exercising.
- Heart attacks, especially in woman, can be misdiagnosed in a number of ways. In women, heart attack symptoms include nausea and a lack of chest pain, which often throws off emergency room doctors. While many think that heart attacks are sudden and dramatic, many heart attacks are actually much more subtle. Still, it is vital to diagnose all heart attacks correctly to prevent future health problems.
- Cancer is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed disease, and perhaps the most dangerous disease to miss. Cancer can spread aggressively in the weeks and months after a missed diagnosis, which is usually arrived at after doctors fail to follow cancer screening guidelines.
- Finally, infections are often misdiagnosed, especially infections that occur after surgery or in tandem with other injuries or conditions.
Although a failure to diagnose and medical misdiagnoses are common mistakes, it does not mean they aren’t a form of medical malpractice. If you have experienced a failure to diagnose, you should discuss your situation with a medical misdiagnosis lawyer and explore your legal options. There is no cost upfront and you will be under no oblgiation to pay unless the firm can win money on your behalf.