Misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose illnesses

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2021 | Failure To Diagnose

The Journal of Clinical Oncology states that cancer misdiagnoses happen about 28% of the time. For certain forms of cancer, the rate of failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis is up to 44%. Some of the reasons for misdiagnoses include an incomplete medical history, missing information from the doctor or medical staff, and limited patient evaluation time. If you live in New Mexico and are seeking a diagnosis for a medical issue, you may want to learn about some conditions that doctors often improperly diagnose.

Heart attack

The symptoms that individuals have during a heart attack can differ. Some people have very few symptoms and don’t realize they’re having a heart attack. Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis can occur depending on the age of the patient. Younger people have different heart attack symptoms than older individuals.

In some cases, the indicators of a heart attack in elderly patients can be mistaken for indigestion. A 2014 study indicates that many heart attacks are misdiagnosed because patients often don’t experience chest pain, which is seen as an obvious indicator of a heart attack.

Celiac disease

Around 83% of people who have celiac disease have dealt with misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. The symptoms for this condition are widely varied, so it can be challenging to properly diagnose a patient. Symptoms can range from constipation to stomach pain, joint pain, depression, and headaches. Some people don’t have any physical symptoms, and many doctors misdiagnose celiac disease as irritable bowel syndrome.


Common depression symptoms include irritability, anxiety, and an overall feeling of sadness. People who are depressed may also have trouble concentrating and may also experience sleeping issues and chronic fatigue. One doctor says that a physical exam and complete medical history are required for a proper depression diagnosis. This is why many patients don’t receive adequate depression treatment.

If you don’t receive an adequate diagnosis for one of the above conditions, it may cause delayed treatment or ineffective treatment and overall worse quality of life. If a physician’s negligence caused a failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis, you may be able to hold them accountable.


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