At some point in their lives, it is likely that Oregon patients will be misdiagnosed with a condition. The problem with a misdiagnosis is that the patient will begin to receive unneeded care from a condition that they do not actually have while the search for the real medical problem stops. While rare illnesses are the most likely to be misdiagnosed, more common life-threatening disorders and diseases such as heart attacks, drug overdoses and strokes are also sometimes missed.
While pain in the left arm and chest are considered to be associated with heart attacks, not everyone exhibits these same symptoms. Research indicates that young or black men and women are more likely to suffer from undiagnosed heart attacks as the disease is rarer. The symptoms for pulmonary embolisms, or blood clots in the lungs, are similar to chest colds. These symptoms include wheezing, coughing and chest pain. If the doctors fail to perform the proper tests or there is a false negative, the potentially fatal condition could go also go undiagnosed.
When it comes to certain cancers and strokes, patients may receive a delayed diagnosis if the doctor failed to perform a biopsy following abnormal test results. The initial signs of strokes are also often missed as some patients experience a slower onset of the symptoms. In some cases, strokes are misdiagnosed as migraines as the symptoms can be very similar.
When a person's health suffers significantly after a doctor fails to diagnose a condition, then that person could suffer physical and emotional damage which lead to medical costs. A medical malpractice attorney may be able to assist with a lawsuit if it can be proven that the doctor's failure to diagnose the patient was the result of a negligence or failing to perform a biopsy or other tests. Depending on the case, the patient may have the ability to recover the costs of their care and seek punitive damages.