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Study: Patients face medical malpractice in MS misdiagnosis

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2019 | Medical Malpractice

Louisianans who are having medical issues and seeking treatment from a doctor are doing so under the belief that they will be diagnosed accurately and receive the necessary treatment to improve their condition. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for misdiagnosis to take place. If the initial medical assessment suggested that the person was suffering from a serious condition and they do not really have that condition, then they might receive unnecessary treatment for it or the wrong treatment entirely. This can cause serious injury and a worsened condition. For those who have been impacted by this type of mistake, having legal advice is imperative if they hope to impose liability and recover compensation for the harm caused to them.

This may be the case for several people who were diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis and were found to have been misdiagnosed at an alarming rate. In a recent study, around one in five people who received the diagnosis at two Southern California medical centers that specialize in MS did not have the condition. The study had 364 patients, 241 of whom received a referral for treatment from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. However, 17 percent at one medical center and 19 percent at the other received a misdiagnosis and were treated for MS for, on average, four years.

Once it was found that they were misdiagnosed with MS, the highest number of people – 16 percent – were diagnosed as having migraines. Other conditions were also diagnosed instead of MS. This study highlights the difficulty in diagnosing MS, but it also indicates that medical professionals are prone to mistakes when attempting to diagnose these conditions. People who have a chronic illness tend to have symptoms that overlap with other conditions. This can spark challenges for medical professionals to formulate an accurate diagnosis. Being misdiagnosed, though, can prevent timely treatment and make a patient’s situation more difficult than it would otherwise be. It can even cause an otherwise preventable death

Any misdiagnosis can result in additional harm for a patient, but when such misdiagnosis involves a condition that might need immediate treatment in the form of medication, surgery and other invasive methods to address it, the real issue can progress to the point where nothing can be done to help. For people who have been misdiagnosed, having legal advice is critical. A law firm that specializes in medical malpractice stemming from misdiagnosis can investigate the case and take the necessary steps to file a lawsuit in hopes of recovering compensation.


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