When physicians and other healthcare providers fail to accurately and correctly diagnose a life-threatening medical condition, it can have dangerous consequences. Mistakes and misdiagnoses may leave many patients and their families with no other option but to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to get the financial assistance and compensation they now need. Issues such as a stroke or heart attack can result in permanent disability and death in the event that they are misdiagnosed or not diagnosed in time. There are some conditions that are misdiagnosed more commonly than others.
Pulmonary Embolism: This is a condition caused by a blood clot that obstructs the flow of blood through the lung arteries. This embolism is a serious health issue since the lack of blood flow causes damage to the lung tissue, as well as other organs in the body. Prompt care is essential in order to help with the chances of a successful recovery. The symptoms of a pulmonary embolism are usually confused with other medication conditions, which delays treatment. Patients that do manage to survive a pulmonary embolism after a misdiagnosis usually suffer permanent disability.
Mental Illness and Depression: Mental illness and depression are more common than most people realize and the conditions are hard to correctly diagnose. Those who suffer from mental illness may be more likely to harm others around them or themselves, especially in a situation where an incorrect diagnosis leaves them unable to get proper care and supervision. It’s rare for mental illnesses to pose a direct physical threat to a patient but a psychiatric emergency can still be life-threatening. A healthcare provider that doesn’t have the right experience can miss the signs that a patient can be at risk for violence or self-harm.
Heart Attack or Stroke: Despite their prevalence, heart attacks still go undiagnosed regularly. Confusing symptoms of a stroke or heart attack with another medical condition means that treatment can be delayed until it is too late. Patients may not get the surgical procedure or anti-coagulates that could end up saving their life.
While healthcare providers do everything in their power to accurately diagnose an illness, failing to properly diagnose a condition is one of the leading causes of healthcare providers getting sued for medical malpractice. Those who suffer due to improper care can be entitled to compensation.