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Impact of misdiagnosing asthma


Asthma involves the swelling and inflammation of the airways and affects more than 25 million people in the country. Approximately 7 million of those are children. Oregon residents who suffer from the disorder or who are parents of children who do should be aware that the misdiagnosis of asthma can result in overusing a rescue inhaler.

Asthma, which may be inherited, can be triggered by a variety of inhaled materials, including molds, chemicals and allergens. These triggers initiate symptoms that include wheezing, tightness in the chest, coughing and difficulty with breathing. According to a nationwide survey, nearly 33 percent of people were misdiagnosed or had to undergo a number of tests before they were properly diagnosed with the disorder. Eighty-nine percent of asthma sufferers surveyed use the rescue inhaler.

The survey also indicated that after being properly diagnosed with asthma, managing the triggers and symptoms become a major issue for most suffers. With the right medication and limited exposure to triggers, the symptoms can be reversed. However, 51 percent of sufferers stated that their quality of life is negatively affected by their asthma. More than have of the respondents said that they wished that they had received more complete explanations from their physicians as to how their lives would be affected, especially if they were using a rescue inhaler. More than half said that became fatigued more easily.

Misdiagnosis or an improper treatment for an illness can cause unnecessary suffering. If an illness has be wrongly identified or an individual has been consuming the wrong medication based on the recommendation of a health care professional, this could result in a worsened condition. People who find themselves in this situation might want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to see what recourse may be available.