When you visit your doctor, you expect a timely and accurate diagnosis of your medical condition. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis, delays in diagnosis, or failure to diagnose happen every day in the medical field — often, with life-threatening consequences. But what do you do if you suspect you’ve been misdiagnosed?
Getting educated about common misdiagnoses is the first step. The second is finding a qualified misdiagnosis lawyer to help you explore your options.
If you or someone you love has suffered because of a missed or incorrect diagnosis in Baltimore or Washington, D.C., you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. The misdiagnosis lawyers at D'Amore Personal Injury Law can review your medical malpractice case, answer your questions, and advise you about your legal options.
What is Misdiagnosis?
Misdiagnosis is a form of medical malpractice where a medical professional incorrectly diagnoses an illness or a medical condition, which leads to inaccurate treatment procedures. For instance, a doctor may diagnose a patient's chest pains as a symptom of indigestion, missing the signs of a potential heart attack.
A misdiagnosis of your illness or injury may:
• Worsen your condition
- • Delay proper treatment for your condition
- • Cause more harm or even result in wrongful death
Misdiagnosis also applies when your physician fails to diagnose you with anything, assuring you that you are fine.
What are the most common Misdiagnosed Diseases?
Misdiagnosis affects nearly 12 million Americans every year. Women and minorities are more likely to experience medical diagnostic errors, with over 40,000 people dying annually due to failure to diagnose cases.
The most commonly misdiagnosed diseases include:
Cancer is the most common misdiagnosis in the medical field. It is considered one of the "Big 3" diagnostic errors, together with infections and vascular events. Breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer are some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions.
Cancer misdiagnosis allows the condition to worsen, risking it becoming terminal. Cancer symptoms vary depending on the type, the patient, and the severity of the disease. Symptoms like fever, indigestion, breathing problems, and drastic weight loss can be linked to countless conditions. Some of the reasons doctors misdiagnose cancer include incomplete medical histories, inadequate time to evaluate symptoms, and missing patient information.
When treating a stroke, doctors must precisely identify the type of stroke a patient has suffered. Time is of the essence during such moments, since a misdiagnosis could translate to catastrophic damage.
Risk factors such as age, lifestyle, and genetics can affect your chances of having a stroke, but they can happen to anyone, not just older adults. Doctors often misdiagnose younger patients suffering from strokes with migraines, alcohol intoxication, or vertigo. Failure to diagnose a stroke can cause a more severe and catastrophic episode.
Common symptoms of stroke include:
- • Dizziness
- • Difficulty seeing
- • Severe headaches
- • Trouble speaking
- • Weakness or paralysis
A heart attack misdiagnosis can happen when a doctor thinks an individual doesn't fit the expected profile, fails to order cardiovascular tests, or misinterprets the patient's results. Doctors may misdiagnose the condition for indigestion, musculoskeletal pain, or pulmonary embolism.
Painless heart attacks are less obvious to detect, causing many doctors to dismiss them as heartburn. Victims of this medical malpractice are mainly women, since their heart attack symptoms are often confused with malaise or fatigue.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that's transmitted through a deer tick bite. The disease can cause symptoms like fever, fatigue, rash, and joint pain. People may also develop eye inflammation, liver inflammation, and heart problems weeks after contracting the infection. Lyme disease mimics flu, chronic fatigue syndrome, and mononucleosis, making it hard for a doctor to diagnose this disease accurately.
Even though there is no known cure for Lyme disease, early detection can help in the treatment and management of its symptoms.
The most common misdiagnosis for this condition is rheumatoid arthritis. Fibromyalgia — similar to arthritis — is a chronic disorder characterized by joint pain, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and fatigue. Doctors may overlook a patient's history of widespread pain for more than three months, leading to misdiagnosis of fibromyalgia.
Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune condition that occurs when the body's immune system attacks its tissues after consuming gluten. Approximately 1 in 133 Americans have celiac disease, while 83% of Americans with this condition are either misdiagnosed or undiagnosed.
The symptoms of celiac disease vary widely, with some having no outward signs. Some of the symptoms include:
- • Vomiting
- • Leg cramps
- • Diarrhea
- • Weight loss
- • Anemia
The most common misdiagnosis for this disease is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Most people with celiac disease are often told they have IBS, Crohn's disease, or cystic fibrosis.
What to do if you've been Misdiagnosed
If you believe your doctor didn't provide acceptable medical standards of care when diagnosing your condition or illness, you may be able to file a misdiagnosis lawsuit in Baltimore or Washington, D.C. Your misdiagnosis lawyer must prove that the condition should have been discovered by your physician. This means that a similarly trained doctor operating under similar circumstances would have accurately discovered your condition.
D'Amore Personal Injury Law will conduct a thorough investigation into your medical malpractice case to prove that your doctor's negligent actions or inactions lead to the misdiagnosis. You have the right to seek compensation and justice if a doctor's wrong diagnosis made your condition worse or led to financial losses.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Serving Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Many victims of medical malpractice cases suffer in silence after negligent errors by medical professionals leave them severely injured or disfigured. Doctors, surgeons, nurses, lab techs, and other medical professionals involved in diagnostic procedures and treatment can be held liable if their negligence leads to your injuries.
If you or someone you care about has suffered a severe medical condition or has passed on due to a misdiagnosis, reach out to a misdiagnosis lawyer for help. D'Amore Personal Injury Law will prepare an airtight medical malpractice case to help you recover damages for your pain and suffering, medical bills, disability, and lost income. Get in touch now to book your free case review.