A misdiagnosed medical condition is every bit as serious as it sounds. If your doctor fails to properly diagnose your condition, it can lead to additional concerns that have a negative impact on your health.
Any misdiagnosis is a big deal, however, some conditions have the potential to lead to a more severe illness or even death. Here are four commonly misdiagnosed conditions:
Heart attack: A top killer among Americans, misdiagnosis of a heart attack can be fatal. Even with common symptoms, such as shortness of breath and chest pains, a misdiagnosis could occur. It’s not out of the question for a doctor to misdiagnose a heart attack as the flu or simple indigestion.
Cancer: Neglecting to treat cancer in a timely manner is a fatal mistake, as it gives the disease the opportunity to spread to other parts of the body. The most commonly misdiagnosed cancers include colorectal, lung and breast.
Stroke: Symptoms of a stroke, such as weakness and confusion, can be mistaken for other conditions. Furthermore, since some strokes come on slowly, it’s easier for a doctor to make a mistake. Early detection of a stroke is important, as this helps prevent the most serious long-term impact.
Pulmonary embolism: This occurs when a blood clot reaches the lungs or forms in this part of the body. Symptoms are shared with many less serious ailments, such as asthma and a chest cold. Without the right diagnostic tests, it’s possible a pulmonary embolism could go undiagnosed.
Steps to take to prevent trouble
You can only do so much to avoid a misdiagnosis, but there are some steps you can take to help prevent trouble:
Keep track of all your symptoms and share them with your medical team
Choose the right doctor for the right ailment
Always ask your doctor to follow up if your symptoms don’t go away
Don’t hesitate to get a second opinion
Don’t let anyone tell you there is nothing wrong
A misdiagnosed medical condition can change your life forever. If you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of this mistake, turn your focus to your health and wellness. As you recover, learn more about the cause of the misdiagnosis and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights.