When seeking medical treatment, you do whatever it takes to consult with an experienced doctor who has your best interests in mind. Doing so can reduce stress, while increasing the likelihood of dealing with your illness or injury head on.
Unfortunately, just like any other profession, doctors are at risk of making mistakes. This can result in a misdiagnosed condition, which puts you in an even worse position.
Knowing the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions can help you protect yourself against this type of mistake. Here are three of the most common:
- Cancer: No one wants to learn that they have cancer, but if this has to happen you don’t want there to be any delay. Delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis of cancer is common, especially involving these types: breast, lung and colorectal. Many mistakes result from ignoring abnormal test results and/or delaying a biopsy.
- Heart attack: Most people know that tightening in the chest and left arm pain are common heart attack symptoms. However, if a doctor tells you that you’re not having a heart attack, is it’s easy to take their word for it. Not all heart attacks show evidence on tests, such as angiograms, so don’t hesitate to push for additional testing should you strongly believe you’ve suffered a heart attack.
- Stroke: A stroke diagnosis is often delayed, especially in the event of a slow onset stroke. The most common symptoms include confusion, weakness, difficulty speaking and poor coordination. If all your symptoms don’t hit at once, your medical team may diagnose you with something less serious, and send you on your way.
What should you do next?
If you find that you were the victim of a misdiagnosed condition, the first thing you should do is assess your health at the present time. The best way to do so is to receive a second opinion from a qualified specialist.
Once you do this, you can compare your suggested treatment to what you have received to date.
As you recover, collect details related to your misdiagnosed condition and evidence to back up your claim. This will give you a clear idea of whether or not medical malpractice occurred, as well as working in your favor as you seek compensation from the negligent party.