It's easy to put all your faith in your medical team. You assume that they know best, so you follow their every suggestion.
Unfortunately, even the most experienced and knowledgeable medical professionals make mistakes. Depending on what goes wrong, a mistake can have a major impact on your health.
Here are three of the most commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions:
- Cancer: The misdiagnosis of cancer is a serious mistake, as it gives the disease additional time to spread to other parts of your body. Here are the types of cancer that are most commonly misdiagnosed: colorectal, lung and breast. If you suspect a cancer misdiagnosis, don't hesitate to seek a second opinion.
- Heart attack: A heart attack shares symptoms with less serious medical concerns, such as indigestion, the flu and chronic back and neck pain. An undiagnosed heart attack can cause irreparable harm and even death.
- Stroke: The most common symptoms of stroke include poor coordination, confusion and weakness. However, with a slow onset stroke, it's easy for your medical team to overlook these common signs. This increases the risk of a misdiagnosis.
How to protect yourself
You can only do so much to protect yourself against a misdiagnosis, but there are some key steps to take:
- Keep track of your symptoms, including the severity and when they occur
- Be honest with your doctor at all times
- Ask your doctor to better explain their diagnosis
- Ask your doctor to schedule follow up tests on any abnormal results
- Trust your instinct
If your doctor is dismissing your symptoms as something less serious, don't wait to receive a second opinion. You may find that a serious illness was overlooked, and that you require immediate medical attention.
As the victim of a medical misdiagnosis, the majority of your focus should turn to your health and the type of treatment you need to receive. Once you're feeling up to it, collect evidence related to the malpractice and begin to consider your legal options.
It's important to protect both your health and legal rights in Iowa during this time. You may find that you're able to seek compensation from the negligent health professional.
Review our blog and website for additional advice on how to deal with the aftermath of a medical misdiagnosis.