New Yorkers expect the best care from their doctors, but it’s possible for a misdiagnosis to occur. Certain medical conditions are commonly misdiagnosed because their symptoms mirror those found in other illnesses.
What are the three most commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions?
Three medical conditions rank as the most commonly misdiagnosed. They are lung cancer, stroke and sepsis. Lung cancer is often mistaken for pneumonia because it shares some of the same symptoms. However, lung cancer is often undiagnosed until it reaches the later stages. This is because there often aren’t any symptoms in the early stages of the disease.
Stroke is another condition that is commonly misdiagnosed due to its symptoms being similar to those in other conditions. Women are more likely to get a misdiagnosis when they have suffered a stroke, as are people of color and those ranging from 18 to 45 years old. Often, it is misdiagnosed as a migraine, vertigo or seizure disorder.
The symptoms of sepsis – blood poisoning – are also commonly misinterpreted. As a result, people can go undiagnosed when they have it, which can end up in a fatality. Individuals who immunocompromised and elderly are considered at the highest risk, but anyone can suffer from sepsis if they have an untreated infection.
The dangers of misdiagnoses
When a misdiagnosis occurs, patients can suffer irreparable harm. Diagnostic errors can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it’s due to poor communication or miscommunication between patients and their doctors.
If a patient knows there’s a problem and senses they’ve been misdiagnosed, it’s imperative that they self-advocate. Always be fully prepared for all appointments, ask clear questions and follow up whenever necessary. If the doctor still appears to be wrong, the best thing to do is to get a second opinion. It could make a huge difference in your recovery.