When you have a health problem, you likely head into your doctor’s office, hoping you can find the answer to what’s wrong. However, a doctor making a correct diagnosis doesn’t always happen. Some studies show doctors misdiagnosis about 12 million patients each year in the United States, and that women and minorities are 20-30% more likely to be misdiagnosed.
Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions are very deadly if not treated correctly. Some of these particularly dangerous illnesses include:
- Cancer (such as lymphoma, breast cancer, sarcomas and melanomas)
- Heart attacks
- Pulmonary embolisms
Serious illnesses that often doctors misdiagnose include the following:
- Lupus (sometimes misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis)
- Lyme disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Irritable bowel syndrome (misdiagnosed sometimes as a lack of fiber or drug toxicity)
- Parkinson’s disease
What if I have been misdiagnosed?
It isn’t always easy to know you have received a misdiagnosis. Some of the signs of misdiagnosis include the following:
- You are taking prescribed medicine and following a treatment plan bur aren’t feeling better.
- The symptoms you have are common for more than one condition.
- Your doctor was rushing during your diagnosis appointment (not fully reviewing your medical history or symptoms).
If any of those are the case, or if you received a diagnosis for a deadly condition like cancer, you may want to get a second opinion. With a second opinion, you should be able to confirm whether your diagnosis is correct and get another opinion on a possible treatment plan. With that information, you’ll have a better idea of the health challenges you face and how to best move forward.
If your misdiagnosis has led to your condition becoming more severe, or resulting in a permanent disability, you should consider contacting a medical malpractice attorney. As experience medical malpractice attorney can review your case to see if you may be able to get compensation for your pain and suffering.