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A misdiagnosis: More common than you may believe

When you first felt you were ill, you went to the doctor immediately. It was weeks of the same symptoms with no relief, but the doctor didn't suspect anything unusual.

Three or four weeks later, you decided to go to someone new. That doctor immediately diagnosed you with a life-altering condition, and it is in an advanced stage. The delay could end up costing you your life.

This isn't uncommon, and a misdiagnosis can lead to serious concerns. Here are a few common misdiagnoses and what you can do if they happen.

What are some common misdiagnoses?

There are several things that might be misdiagnosed at first, which could lead to problems for patients. For instance, asthma, a chronic breathing disorder, is easily misdiagnosed as a recurring case of bronchitis, even though it may be controllable with simple bronchodilators or corticosteroids.

Lyme disease is another commonly misdiagnosed condition. It's often first thought to be mononucleosis or the flu. Sometimes it's misdiagnosed as depression.

Lupus is another tricky condition. It has symptoms that mimic a variety of conditions, making it possible to receive a misdiagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia.

Around one in 20 patients is misdiagnosed, showing the problem that threatens people today. If a misdiagnosis isn't recognized quickly, there's a potential for it to lead to the worsening of a condition, injury and potentially death.

To sue for a misdiagnosis, you'll need to show that the doctor had a duty to care for you and failed to do so. You will want to show that the doctor did not catch a disease or make a diagnosis that another in the same field would have. You also need to show that the misdiagnosis led to injury and damages.

Source: FindLaw, "Can You Sue for a Misdiagnosis?," Le Trinh, Esq., accessed May 10, 2018

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