Until recently, Illinois residents had no way of knowing which medical conditions were most likely to be misdiagnosed, but a study done in 2009 has made this information more accessible. The study has provided some incredibly important information, especially since nearly 100,000 people a year die from preventable diseases as a result of medical errors. A group of Florida doctors looked at information from a variety of sources containing autopsy and malpractice data. Their study was able to determine the five diseases most likely to lead to a misdiagnosis and point out ways for medical professionals to improve the accuracy of diagnoses.
Researchers discovered that the medical conditions most likely to be misdiagnosed were cardiovascular disease, pulmonary embolisms, myocardial infarctions, neoplasms and infections. While infections ranked as the easiest to misdiagnose, the number one cause of death in America is heart disease, so it is not a surprise that many instances of cardiovascular disease and myocardial infractions, better known as heart attacks, are not properly diagnosed. This is in part due to the fact that symptoms of heart problems can be vague, but doctors should be on the lookout for these conditions.
Pulmonary embolisms are blockages of arteries in the lungs, and these are fairly common following a surgery. Neoplasms are better known as cancer and include both benign and dangerous types. Cancer is often difficult to detect for reasons similar to heart issues, such as vague symptoms.
People should be able to rely on their doctors to provide an accurate and timely diagnosis. Individuals who have not been properly diagnosed may have legal recourse, and a lawyer could explain their rights and options.
Source: Daily Finance, "The 5 most misdiagnosed diseases", Sean WIlliams, July 21, 2013