According to the AARP, over 20% of patients have their conditions misdiagnosed by doctors. However, some illnesses are more likely to be misdiagnosed than others. There are nine conditions that are particularly tricky for Pennsylvania doctors to diagnose.
The first is fibromyalgia, which produces fatigue, muscle aches and joint pain. Doctors can mistake this for rheumatic diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Second is celiac disease, an immune disease that attacks the intestines when gluten is eaten. Testing for certain antibodies in the blood can clear up any misunderstandings.
Third is cancer. Not much more can be said except that patients should always seek a second opinion if diagnosed with any type of cancer. Depression is the fourth condition because doctors tend to treat the physical symptoms, including the headaches and body pains, while ignoring the patient’s mental state. At No. 5, Parkinson’s disease is often mistaken for other conditions that affect the nervous system.
Sixth, doctors may think that someone with an aortic dissection is having a heart attack; although, a CT scan or X-ray can diagnose it. Underactive and overactive thyroids create all kinds of symptoms, making diagnosis difficult. Eighth, migraine patients may be told they have anything from depression to sinusitis. Lastly, multiple sclerosis can be interpreted as stroke, migraines or even vitamin B12 deficiency.
Diagnostic errors are behind a great many medical malpractice cases because they can lead to injuries from unnecessary procedures and a worsening of the real condition. Victims of such negligence may be entitled to compensation for their economic and non-economic losses, including past and future medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and emotional trauma. This is where seeing a lawyer may be a wise idea. Malpractice claims often end in large settlements.