A misdiagnosed illness can be a deadly form of medical malpractice when a patient does not receive the proper care that they need. A misdiagnosis can happen when a patient is overdiagnosed—that is, when a condition is thought to be more serious than it is, and a patient is overly medicated as a result. In other situations, the patient could be underdiagnosed and then doesn’t receive enough treatment. Sometimes, the condition is completely misdiagnosed and the patient is treated for a completely different condition. They not only fail to receive the treatment that they really do need, but the treatment they are receiving could potentially have adverse reactions to their actual condition. This could result in serious consequences and can potentially be deadly.
Although any medical condition can be misdiagnosed, the following are some of the most common illnesses that are misdiagnosed, due to the fact that their symptoms are similar to other conditions:
Lyme Disease can result after getting bitten from an infected tick. Unfortunately, not all people realize they’ve even been bitten by a tick and Lyme Disease shows symptoms that resemble many other illnesses, such as nausea and vomiting and shortness of breath. There are specific tests for Lyme Disease, but doctors sometimes overlook Lyme Disease as a possibility, making it a top misdiagnosed illness.
Many people suffer from Celiac Disease, but the condition has symptoms that mimics so many others, including vomiting and abdominal pain. Often, patients are misdiagnosed with Chron’s Disease, Cystic Fibrosis or IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Receiving treatment for one of these similar conditions may not be effective and a proper diagnosis will need to be made.
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can cause joint pain and fatigue, and eventually result in kidney, lung, and heart damage when it is not treated properly. When correct lab tests are not done, a patient could be misdiagnosed with conditions that exhibit similar symptoms, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Parkinson’s Disease often causes tremors in the hands and stiff muscles. Because there are no lab tests that can officially diagnose Parkinson’s Disease, some patients receive diagnoses for conditions that share similar symptoms, such as Alzheimer’s or a stroke. In some situations, a doctor may mistakenly chalk up a patient’s tremors as stress.
Have you or a loved one been misdiagnosed by a medical professional and suffered as a result? You may be entitled to monetary compensation in a medical malpractice case. Contact our Birmingham injury attorneys today for more information and to schedule your free consultation.