Misdiagnosis often occurs with patients of advancing years, as the body becomes more susceptible to various medical conditions as it ages.
Doctors are often very busy, especially in hospitals. The number of patients is high, and the number of different disorders and symptoms can be confusing. This, however, does not absolve the doctor of liability for misdiagnosis. If a doctor misdiagnoses a disorder or disease that could have been caught with the proper diagnostic tool, the proper tool was the accepted medical practice in the doctor’s geographic area, and that misdiagnosis leads to injury, he may be liable for medical malpractice. Misdiagnosis often occurs with patients of advancing years, as the body becomes more susceptible to various medical conditions as it ages. Many symptoms are shared by different diseases and disorders, and some of these are more dangerous than others. The following are just a few diseases that are frequently misdiagnosed by doctors, according to the AARP. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a disorder that turned out to be incorrect, and you have suffered injury as a result, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can give you the counsel you need to determine if you are entitled to compensation.
Pulmonary Embolism Misdiagnosis
A pulmonary embolism is a blockage in the blood vessels of the lungs, often caused by a blood clot that can originate anywhere in the body. The symptoms of a pulmonary embolism are cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain. These symptoms are similar to those of a common cold, pneumonia, or heart attack. However, a pulmonary embolism can cut of oxygen flow so seriously that it can result in sudden death if not caught in time. Pulmonary embolisms can be diagnosed with a CT scan. Blood clots like these can be treated with blood thinners and supplemental oxygen, or surgery in serious cases. An important thing to look out for is the above symptoms suffered at the same time as deep vein thrombosis. The coincidence of these two increases the likelihood of pulmonary embolism being the correct diagnosis.
Heart Attack Misdiagnosis
A Heart attack occurs when, for some reason (often cholesterol blockage or a blood clot), blood vessels leading to and from the heart are blocked, causing the damage or death of heart muscle tissue. Similar to pulmonary embolism, the symptoms of a heart attack are shortness of breath and chest pain. Other symptoms include shooting pain through the left arm, dizziness, and less often nausea and pain in the back and shoulders. A simple blood test can be used to test for heart muscle enzymes, which would indicate damage to the heart. An EKG can also detect heart damage.