When a doctor misdiagnoses a condition, it’s not always a big deal. However, misdiagnosing an illness or disease may lead to a worsening of symptoms in the patient and could even result in death.
Why is misdiagnosis dangerous?
If your doctor misdiagnoses tonsillitis as the flu, chances are you will suffer few, if any, serious consequences. However, if a doctor fails to diagnose cancer, it could threaten your life. While the potential dangers of misdiagnosis will depend upon the condition, it is safest to take all errors seriously. At the very least, a misdiagnosis may cause your symptoms to worsen.
Any condition is susceptible to misdiagnosis. However, some illnesses, such as cancer, are harder to diagnose than others are. Here are some examples:
- Heart attacks – often misdiagnosed as indigestion.
- Pulmonary embolisms – often misdiagnosed as pneumonia.
- Fibromyalgia – often misdiagnosed as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Strokes – often misdiagnosed in young adults as vertigo.
- Thyroid conditions – often misdiagnosed as depression.
Other often-misdiagnosed conditions include Lyme disease, aortic dissection and celiac disease.
Holding doctors accountable
The fact that there is often difficulty in diagnosing certain conditions does not relieve medical providers of their duty to cause patients no harm. Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose is a form of medical malpractice in many situations.
For Louisiana victims, a malpractice claim is usually the best way to acquire compensation for their harm. A financial award gives victims the funds necessary to manage the expenses associated with getting the medical care they need. Filing a malpractice claim is also an effective way to hold the responsible party accountable for their role in your suffering.