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Study reveals 12 most common misdiagnosed diseases

New York residents may have heard of a recent study published by the Internet Journal of Family Practice that revealed 12 commonly misdiagnosed illnesses in the U.S. Sources indicate that improper diagnoses are more common in the medical community than medication errors and wrong-site surgery. A different study's researchers found that 28 percent of 583 reported diagnostic mistakes were life-threatening or led to permanent disability.

In the recent study, authors analyzed the results of malpractice and autopsy findings. According to the study, the most misdiagnosed illnesses include acute infections, pulmonary embolism, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, depression and strokes. Additionally, certain types of cancer, Lupus, Lyme disease, Parkinson's disease and Celiac disease are also misdiagnosed. The study found that some of the symptoms of these diseases might be uncommon or not present and thus misinterpreted for other medical conditions.

Reports indicate that there about 12 million misdiagnoses each year in the country. Although the figures for diagnostic mistakes may seem alarming, patients can proactively make a difference in the statistics by listening to their body, asking a doctor for a different diagnosis and seeking a second medical opinion.

Medical mistakes like a delayed cancer diagnosis or misreading of an MRI could lead to fatal consequences. Patients always have the right to a second review of test results or simply a second opinion on their treatment. However, if a patient is seriously injured due to a medical mistake, he or she could pursue medical malpractice litigation against the health care professional responsible for their worsened condition for compensation of their pain and suffering.

Source: Mother Nature Network, "12 illnesses that are commonly misdiagnosed", Melissa Breyer, July 18, 2014

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