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Illnesses that are commonly misdiagnosed

Families in Chicago may benefit from learning more about which illnesses are most commonly misdiagnosed in the United States. Recent statistics underscore how important it is for patients to seek a second opinion from another physician. Studies indicate that around 10 to 20 percent of all medical cases are effected by a delayed, incorrect or missed diagnosis. Among 528 misdiagnoses sampled in a study, 28 percent resulted in permanent disability or a condition that was potentially fatal. Statistics indicate that there are approximately 12 million conditions misdiagnosed each year.

A 2008 analysis of malpractice and autopsy records published within the Internet Journal of Family Practice led researchers to conclude that the health conditions most likely to be misdiagnosed were infections, celiac disease, lupus, stroke, cardiovascular disease, cancer, heart attacks, blood clots in the lungs, chronic pain in the lower back, Parkinson's disease, Lyme disease and depression.

According to recent research, approximately 30 percent of the people who suffer from pulmonary emboli ultimately die from the condition. This is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed medical condition since symptoms often include sweating, lightheadedness and anxiety, which may all seem unrelated. Researchers claim that patients may benefit from being more proactive in assessing their own symptoms and more assertive in communicating concerns or seeking out another professional opinion.

People who think they have suffered injuries due to a misdiagnosis may benefit from conferring with legal counsel about filing a medical malpractice claim in court. A lawyer could help plaintiffs recover restitution that could account for short and long-term costs related to the medical error. A lawyer may also be able to investigate the claim to determine if the standard of care was breached, and which parties, including the hospital, physician and staff, could be held liable for the ensuing damages.

Source: Mother Nature Network, "12 illnesses that are commonly misdiagnosed", Melissa Breyer, July 18, 2014

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