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Commonly misdiagnosed conditions

According to the Institute of Medicine, people in Arizona and throughout the country will likely be misdiagnosed at least once during their lifetime. Every year, about 1 in 20 adults in outpatient care is either misdiagnosed or given a delayed diagnosis. These misdiagnoses can have serious consequences as around 10 percent of patient deaths are blamed on diagnostic errors.

While rare diseases are more likely to be misdiagnosed by doctors, there are a few common conditions that are frequently missed. Heart attack is often misdiagnosed because the symptoms can be similar to chronic back, neck and shoulder pain. Fatigue, dizziness and nausea experienced during a heart attack can also be similar to flu symptoms.

People who are suffering from various forms of cancer are often given an incorrect diagnosis when they first go to see the doctor about their symptoms. Lung, colorectal and breast cancers are the most commonly misdiagnosed types of cancer. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, almost 10 percent of diagnostic errors involve cancer. Other conditions that are frequently misdiagnosed include pulmonary embolism, drug intoxication and overdose and stroke. Around 9 percent of stroke diagnoses are delayed.

A misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis can cause a patient's condition to worsen if they are injured by unnecessary treatments for a condition that they do not have. When patients determine misdiagnoses, they might have endured years of injuries from incorrect treatment. A lawyer might be able to help a victim pursue compensation for a misdiagnosis from the medical treatment center and healthcare practitioners who were responsible.

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