Have you or a loved one returned home from the emergency room with a diagnosis that left you wondering whether it was correct? Perhaps you continue to feel the symptoms. Perhaps the medicine the doctor prescribed has not worked.
A misdiagnosis can lead to serious health consequences or death. If you discover that a health care provider did not diagnose your medical issue correctly, explore your options. Medical malpractice cases based on misdiagnoses are often complicated, but victims can prevail with the help of a team of experienced legal and medical experts willing and able to take on the challenge.
Here are five of the most commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions.
1. Heart Attack
Symptoms of a heart attack vary widely. An elderly person may complain of feeling a little indigestion while a young person may experience intense chest pain. There may be dizziness, shortness of breath or a cold sweat. Women also have different warning signs than men.
Stroke is often associated with older people, which is why a young person may be misdiagnosed. A doctor may incorrectly assign a young person’s stroke symptoms to migraine, vertigo or simply intoxication. However, symptoms such as slurred speech, numbness of the face, a severe headache or trouble with balance indicate the need for prompt medical attention.
The Journal of Clinical Oncology reports that a cancer misdiagnosis happens 28 percent of the time, more for certain kinds. The conditions most often misdiagnosed are breast cancer, lymphoma, sarcomas and melanoma.
4. Pulmonary Embolism
A pulmonary embolism occurs when there is a blockage of the pulmonary artery in the lung. This is a medical problem that requires immediate attention. The symptoms may mirror an asthma attack, pneumonia or a heart attack. Warning signs are acute chest pain, anxiety, shortness of breath and even fainting.
A common problem among middle-aged women, fibromyalgia is the term for continuing muscle and joint pain. Symptoms also include fatigue and sleep issues, but doctors can mistake fibromyalgia for lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis.