Some New Mexico who are experiencing pulmonary disease symptoms might want their physicians to rule out idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. According to information published by the outreach organization Sounds of IPF, physicians initially misdiagnose over 50 percent of people later identified to have IPF. Between one and two years is the average time that passes before a patient receives an accurate diagnosis.
The difficulty arises from the condition’s similarity to other cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a frequent misdiagnosis. Some of the earliest symptoms of IPF include a cough or labored breathing. Factors like age or smoking might first be used to explain the symptoms. Physicians also tend to focus on eliminating other explanations instead of investigating the possibility that patients might have IPF.
The large chance that people with IPF might go through a series of inaccurate diagnoses could expose them to ineffective treatments. A misdiagnosis could delay the application of potentially effective therapies. An early diagnosis of this disease has been associated with patients living longer.
When the health of a person declines because of a misdiagnosis, questions about medical malpractice may arise. Significant harm such as a worsened medical condition could arise from a delayed diagnosis as well. This could require the need for additional expensive medical care and treatment. Patients who have found themselves in this type of a position may want to meet with an attorney to see what recourse may be available. A successful medical malpractice case will have to demonstrate that the health care practitioner or facility failed to exhibit the requisite standard of care, and an attorney will review the patient’s medical records and obtain the opinions of experts in order to make that determination.