New Mexico residents who suffer from asthma may be interested in a recent study regarding the possible misdiagnosis of asthma sufferers. The study was accomplished through the European Community Respiratory Health Survey and involved more than 2,000 patients of 540 family physicians.

According to the survey results, about 33 percent of patients who were struggling with a respiratory health issue were diagnosed as having another respiratory disease, although they gave information that concluded they were suffering with asthma instead. The doctor in charge of the survey said that a misdiagnosis can prolong and worsen the affects of asthma, and that early detection and treatment can help asthma patients manage their condition. In addition, early intervention could benefit the patient’s future by improving his or her quality of life.

Those involved in the survey represented individuals whose mean average age was around 55, with slightly more than half of them being women. Of the total amount of patients surveyed, 991 of them had asthma, and 1,099 of them were not diagnosed with asthma but with some other respiratory disease. In fact, about 22 percent were diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 12.2 percent were diagnosed with an upper respiratory tract infection and 11.5 were diagnosed with chronic or acute bronchitis. However, the survey showed that 365 of the 1,099 patients had symptoms more closely related to asthma.

Whenever individuals seek medical attention to assist them with a respiratory condition, and their doctor fails to diagnose them for a serious disease such as asthma, they may be entitled to pursue damages via a medical malpractice claim. Depending on the particular circumstances surrounding the case, a medical malpractice attorney could assist the victim to recoup monetary losses for medical procedures needed to correct the medical error as well as other damages that may have been incurred.

Source: Healio, “Survey finds one-third of patients with other respiratory conditions may have asthma”, Dec. 22, 2015