Five Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions

by | Nov 29, 2021 | Injuries

Although doctors have access to a mountain of information, a simple lack of data is the main reason the misdiagnosis rate is about 20 percent. Patient interaction is a good example. No internet search can substitute for a face-to-face doctor/patient meeting. Yet doctors listen to their patients for an average of eleven seconds. That’s nowhere near enough time to obtain any meaningful information about a patient’s symptoms, and how those symptoms affect their daily lives.

In most cases, an 80 percent success rate is either acceptable or exemplary. But medicine is different. Due to their education and training, and the fact that patients are entirely dependent on them, doctors have a fiduciary duty. They must set aside all other concerns, including ending an appointment at a certain time, and only do what is best for their patients.

Since the duty of care is so high, a Lexington personal injury attorney is usually able to obtain substantial compensation for misdiagnosis victims. This compensation normally includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Moreover, juries usually award substantial punitive damages in these cases.

Head Injuries

These wounds send tens of thousands of people to hospital Emergency Rooms every year. Yet in many cases, doctors only perform cursory examinations. Motor vehicle collisions are by far the most common cause of head injuries. Doctors often confuse head injury symptoms, such as neck soreness and disorientation, as shock or soreness from the accident. Therefore, many victims don’t get proper attention until they show advanced symptoms, like personality changes and severe headaches. At this point, their injuries are much more difficult to treat.

To help alleviate this problem, attorneys connect injury victims with doctors who specialize in injury care. These professionals know how to identify and treat conditions like head injuries. As a bonus, these doctors usually charge nothing upfront for their professional services.

Cardiovascular Conditions

another reason for the high head injury misdiagnosis rate is the lack of signature symptoms, such as unconsciousness and vomiting. This same issue affects the heart disease misdiagnosis rate. For example, many female heart attack victims do not have severe chest pains. As a result, doctors often misdiagnose their conditions as excess gas or another very mild ailment. That’s especially true if the patient has no family history of heart disease.

Strokes are another example. As far as many doctors are concerned, strokes are an age-related condition. The 50th anniversary of Grace Kelly’s death is rapidly approaching. The film star and real-life princess apparently had a stroke on a mountain road and lost control of her car. She was 52 years old.

Cancer

Continuing this pattern, many doctors view cancer as a lifestyle or genetic condition. As far as they are concerned, only smokers get lung cancer, only women get breast cancer, and so on. So, they often do not order diagnostic tests if there are no red flags. Many doctors are afraid the insurance company won’t pay for the test and they will be stuck with the bill.

Sub-misdiagnosis is also an issue with cancer cases. For example, a doctor might correctly identify lung cancer. But doctors often assume that these patients have NSCLC (Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer), which is by far the most common kind of lung cancer. So, if the patient has a rare and more aggressive kind of lung cancer, such as mesothelioma, the prescribed treatment regimen might do little good.

Fibromyalgia

Doctors often confuse this condition, which is characterized by chronic pain in various parts of the body, with arthritis. That’s especially true if the patient is a female over 50, because that’s a high-risk arthritis group. Furthermore, laboratory tests usually do not detect this condition.

As a result, doctor/patient interaction is usually the only way to diagnose fibromyalgia. If the patient has widespread pain which lasts more than three months and occurs in at least a dozen areas of the body, the patient probably has fibromyalgia. But as mentioned, doctors rarely take the time needed to obtain such information. It’s much easier to give patients a test and a prescription.

Lupus

This rare condition makes our list because it is often either serious or fatal. Effects of this autoimmune disease include severe heart, kidney, and/or lung damage. Laboratory tests can detect lupus, but about a half-dozen tests are usually required. Doctors usually do not order such examinations. Instead, as mentioned, they might order one or two general tests, and then go with those results. Once again, doctors often misdiagnose lupus as arthritis.

Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. After-hours visits are available. #goodelawyers