What are the Most Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions?
When we visit the doctor’s office, we expect them to know what our conditions represent. If we experience a lump in our body parts, have a rash on our skin, or feel a strange soreness in our joints, the doctors are responsible for taking the time to understand the symptoms and properly diagnose them. Unfortunately, physicians and medical practitioners often incorrectly identify illnesses, leading to further injury. Reports suggest an average of 12 million Americans are misdiagnosed a year. Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions can prove life threatening.
Most Common Misdiagnosis
Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions are very serious. Researchers suggest inadequate time examining patients, improper reading of test results, failure to check medical history, and missing information as reasons for the incorrect diagnosis.
- Cancer – The Journal of Clinical Oncology suggests that cancer is misdiagnosed as much as 28% of the time. Some specific types of cancer can be misdiagnosed as high a 44% of the time. The most common forms include breast cancer, lymphoma, melanoma, and sarcoma.
- Stroke – The American Heart Association found that doctors often misread stroke symptoms, particularly in young adults. Signs of headaches, face numbness, and vision problems get confused for migraines, vertigo, or intoxication.
- Heart Attack – Although there are distinct heart attack symptoms (chest and arm pain), other symptoms are not as obvious. Women often experience different symptoms during heart attacks, which is why they are most likely to be misdiagnosed. Doctors need to take extra steps to rule out cardiac arrest because failure to properly identify it can lead to extensive injuries or death.
- Pulmonary Embolism – A study conducted in 2013 found that 33.5% of patients suffering from a pulmonary embolism were either sent home or incorrectly diagnosed. Pulmonary embolisms are usually caused by blood clots that form a blockage in the lung. It can be fatal if not properly treated.
- Thyroid Conditions – The American Thyroid Association suggests that about 20 million Americans have some form of a thyroid condition. The thyroid controls metabolic function and is usually the cause for imbalance in hormones. Doctors can misrecognize the symptoms for depression or another illness.
We believe that doctors have a responsibility to provide proficient and qualified care. They should know their patients and spend enough time examining them to procure a correct diagnosis. Unfortunately, not everyone does so. At Hampton & King, we fight for victims of misdiagnosis. If you were diagnosed for the wrong condition and sustained painful and extensive injuries, contact our Houston medical malpractice attorneys today. We will review your case during a free consultation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.