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Which life-threatening conditions do doctors miss most?

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2020 | Misdiagnosis |

When you are experiencing worrisome symptoms, you want the doctor to accurately and quickly diagnose and treat you, so you will soon be on the road to recovery. But sometimes, it’s not that simple, and doctors misdiagnose their patients.

Below are some common conditions that can be deadly if they get misdiagnosed.

Some cancers

Breast, colorectal and lung cancers are three types that often get ignored or misdiagnosed by doctors. These three account for nearly 10% of doctor-reported errors, according to one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The main reason for missing the diagnosis was physicians failing to order a biopsy after test results were abnormal.

Heart attack

Pain in the chest and shooting down the left arm are typical symptoms of a heart attack. But they are by far not the only indicators of a myocardial infarction. Pain can also be in the back, neck and shoulders. Sometimes, the patient presents with typical flu-like symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, cold sweats and nausea when they actually have the flu.

Pulmonary embolism

A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blood clot migrates through the bloodstream the to lungs. According to a JAMA study of self-reported errors by doctors, PEs account for 4.5% of all diagnostic errors.

The symptoms of PEs can mimic a bad chest cold, pneumonia or an asthma attack. Patients typically present with wheezing, coughing and chest pain. Doctors must also perform multiple tests to confirm a pulmonary embolism diagnosis. If there’s a false negative or they aren’t aren’t thorough, pulmonary embolisms can quickly become fatal.

Were you misdiagnosed by your doctor? You may be able to seek compensation for your damages and losses.