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Medical malpractice and misdiagnosed conditions

Individuals in Arizona who are considering filing a lawsuit related to medical malpractice and a misdiagnosis may be interested to learn that such misdiagnoses are not uncommon. In fact, there are about a dozen chronic and acute illnesses that are commonly misdiagnosed in the U.S.

Some of those illnesses fall under the category of autoimmune diseases. Celiac disease, lupus and Lyme disease all have symptoms that mimic those of other illnesses and are frequently misdiagnosed; sufferers of celiac disease are estimated to go up to 10 years without a diagnosis.

Just as prevalent are events that could be immediately life-threatening including strokes, heart attacks and blood clots. While it may seem strange that doctors would fail to recognize these incidents, in fact, heart attacks do not have the typical symptoms, or patients do not properly report the symptoms. Strokes are often misdiagnosed in women and minorities, and blood clot symptoms may be missed or nonexistent.

Cardiovascular disease, a condition that can lead to some of the acute events mentioned above, may be mistaken for anxiety or even just muscle aches among other relatively benign diagnoses. The misdiagnosis of various types of acute infections may lead to death. There are also many misdiagnosed diseases that generally move more slowly including cancer and Parkinson's disease.

Pain in the lower back caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction is often attributed to other causes and treated accordingly. Finally, depression is often wrongly diagnosed. Missed or wrong diagnoses can be a major factor in malpractice suits, and individuals who feel it has been an issue for them may wish to consult an attorney regarding their next steps. If the failure to properly diagnose is due to medical negligence, a suit may be successful.

Source: Mother Nature Network, "12 illnesses that are commonly misdiagnosed", Melissa Breyer, July 18, 2014

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