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Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
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Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses


Imagine experiencing fatigue, pain, or discomfort, only to receive a diagnosis that doesn't quite fit the puzzle. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis is more common than you might think, impacting millions of people worldwide. While medicine has made immense strides, the complexities of the human body and overlapping symptoms can sometimes lead to diagnostic errors.

Is Misdiagnosis Medical Malpractice?

Yes. Misdiagnosis, the mistaken identification of a medical condition, can have serious consequences. In some cases, it can lead to delayed or missed treatment, resulting in further illness or even death. If this harm stems from a healthcare provider deviating from the accepted standard of care, it could form the basis for a medical malpractice claim.

However, proving medical malpractice in a misdiagnosis case requires specific elements. Firstly, you must demonstrate that a doctor-patient relationship existed.

You will also need to:

  • Establish that the healthcare provider breached their duty of care by deviating from the accepted standard of practice in their field. This often involves expert testimony to compare their actions to similar situations.
  • Prove that this breach directly caused you harm, with clear evidence linking the misdiagnosis to your injuries or losses.

What Are the Most Common Misdiagnosed Diseases?

Some of the illnesses that are incorrectly diagnosed repeatedly include:

  • Cancer. Cancers like colorectal, lung, and breast frequently masquerade as other conditions due to their diverse symptoms. This highlights the importance of early screenings and thorough investigations.
  • Celiac disease. Frequently overlooked as irritable bowel syndrome, given the common symptoms like abdominal pain and bloating.
  • Fibromyalgia. A condition characterized by widespread pain, often misdiagnosed as arthritis or even a psychological condition due to its complex symptom profile.
  • Heart attack. Recognizing a heart attack promptly is crucial. However, its symptoms can mimic indigestion or anxiety, leading to delays in diagnosis and treatment.
  • Infections. Sepsis, a life-threatening infection, can be mistaken for other inflammatory conditions, emphasizing the need for vigilance and accurate testing.
  • Neurological conditions. Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis often share symptoms like fatigue and pain, making a definitive diagnosis challenging.
  • Stroke. Similar to a heart attack, strokes present diverse symptoms depending on the affected brain area. Misdiagnosis can occur if less common stroke types are overlooked.

Why Does Misdiagnosis Happen?

Several factors contribute to diagnostic errors:

  • Incomplete medical history. Sharing detailed information about your symptoms and family history is crucial for accurate diagnosis.
  • Limited time constraints. Time pressures during consultations may lead to incomplete examinations or neglecting certain possibilities.
  • Rare or complex conditions. Diseases with less common presentations might be initially missed due to their low prevalence in the population.
  • Individual variations. Symptom presentation can vary greatly between individuals, further complicating the diagnostic process.

Talk with Our Attorneys

Having competent legal representation in a misdiagnosis case is crucial, as these cases can be complex and challenging to navigate. At Michael Doyle, Attorney at Law, we stand by our clients throughout the legal process, providing guidance and support. Our aim is to help you understand your legal rights and options and to fight for the compensation you deserve.

To request a case consultation, call (505) 219-2176.