Medical misdiagnosis is a huge problem in Pennsylvania and across the country. In fact, there may be as many as 12 million people misdiagnosed by doctors every year, which means that 1 out of every 20 patients is misdiagnosed.
While you may not be a medical expert yourself, you still know your body better than anyone. If something doesn’t seem right, you should speak up to avoid a misdiagnosis. Here are three of the most frequently misdiagnosed medical conditions:
#1: Lyme disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease can be incredibly varied, which is why so many patients with this vector-borne illness are misdiagnosed. Since Lyme disease is so common, it’s crucial to rule it out before receiving treatment for something else. The good news is that patients who are correctly diagnosed with Lyme disease may recover with just a few weeks of the correct treatment.
There are many medical malpractice claims filed over the delayed diagnosis of stroke. When a patient is having a stroke, there is a short window of time for treatment that could change the patient’s outcome dramatically.
Unfortunately, stroke is also over-diagnosed frequently. Around one-third of patients diagnosed with stroke actually had something else going on. Here are a few of the conditions that are commonly confused with stroke:
- Epileptic seizures
#3: Irritable bowel syndrome
Changes in bowel habits can be a symptom of a lot of different medical conditions. However, when the changes accompany severe abdominal pain, a patient may have irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. IBS is frequently mistaken for a temporary reaction to diet changes or more serious conditions like ovarian cancer, celiac disease and endometriosis.
The impact of misdiagnosis
Misdiagnosis can have severe consequences for patients. A timely diagnosis is important for patients so that they can receive the correct treatment for their illness. Misdiagnosed patients may also be injured by treatments that they don’t need. If you were misdiagnosed, you may be able to pursue financial compensation in a medical malpractice claim.