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Wrongly diagnosed asthma can lead to worsened condition

While asthma can be serious, it remains a treatable chronic disease. However, it is also a disease that can be prone to misdiagnosis.

According to experts, over 25 million Americans, including some in Queens, New York, have been misdiagnosed with asthma. In fact, studies show that 25 to 30 percent of people diagnosed with asthma do not actually have the respiratory disease. Unfortunately, asthma misdiagnosis, just like cancer misdiagnosis, can be very harmful to the patient.

A good example of this is the recent case of a Philadelphia woman who was diagnosed with asthma and was taking medications for the condition. Fifteen years later, she was surprised when she was told by her new physician that she does not have the disease. She wasted hundreds of dollars on medications that she did not need because of the misdiagnosis.

The costs of treating asthma are high. Unfortunately, that money is wasted if the patient's condition was misdiagnosed. And some of these medications can do more harm than good if they not treating the correct condition.

An accurate diagnosis is vital for every patient who visits a doctor or hospital. This is the first step toward the patient's proper recovery. If a failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis occurs during analysis, the methods of treatment for the patient will be incorrect.

A diagnostic error by a medical professional can lead to complications for the patient. However, that patient may be able hold a negligent physician accountable for the outcomes of the medical error. The negligent party may also face civil liabilities by means of a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Source: CBS, "Health: Asthma Misdiagnosis Is Common," Stephanie Stahl, Dec. 17, 2013

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