When you go to your doctor because you are suffering adverse health symptoms, you understand that he or she is a human being, capable of error. However, it is reasonable for you to expect that a licensed medical doctor is skilled enough to correctly diagnose your condition or to know where to seek additional support if your situation is outside his or her scope of expertise.
Sadly, many Louisiana medical patients have suffered serious infections, illnesses and, in worst cases, even death when doctors failed to properly diagnose their conditions. You are always free to seek a second opinion if you are unsure about your doctor's initial diagnosis. Doing so could save your life. It's also a good idea to know what types of options are available to seek legal accountability against a medical doctor whose negligence has caused you injury.
Doctors often misdiagnose these conditions
Some health conditions are more difficult to diagnose than others. In fact, certain conditions mimic others because of similar symptoms or commonality regarding the way such conditions progress over time. The following list shows some of the most commonly misdiagnosed diseases:
- Did you go to an emergency room or to your doctor's office with chest pain? Many doctors have mistaken heart attacks for anxiety or stress-related conditions; some have even confused heart attack symptoms with indigestion!
- Cancer isn't a single disease; there are many types of cancer, some with varying symptoms and others that are quite similar in presentation. Shockingly, as often as 44 percent of the time, doctors miss the mark when diagnosing cancer.
- If you suffer from depression, you may have a tough time obtaining a correct diagnosis. This may be because doctors who treat physical health may have trouble recognizing the signs of mental health problems.
- Did your doctor tell you that your head pain was a migraine or that you were suffering vertigo? Perhaps your doctor thought you were experiencing intoxication when, in fact, you had suffered a stroke; all these symptoms are signs of stroke, yet doctors often mistake them for other conditions.
- Fibromyalgia patients may also have trouble obtaining correct diagnoses because joint or muscle aches and pains occur with many conditions, such as arthritis, lupus, chronic fatigue or carpal tunnel syndrome.
The problem is that it may take some time for you to realize your doctor has failed to properly diagnose your condition. In many cases, your health may suffer further decline in the interim. The last thing you need is to seek medical attention only to wind up worse off afterward than you were prior to visiting your doctor's office.
What to do if misdiagnosis causes you injury
If one of the situations in the earlier mentioned list sounds familiar to you, you may wish to seek another medical opinion to confirm or deny whether your doctor's assessment of the situation is correct. If you already know that a misdiagnosis has caused you injury, you can pursue justice by seeking legal accountability against any and all parties whose negligence caused you to suffer.