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10 Commonly Misdiagnosed Medical Conditions

One of the more commonplace causes of medical malpractice in the United States is misdiagnosis of a health condition, disease, illness or ailment. There are 10 commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions that form the basis of medical malpractice claims:

  • Cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Depression
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Aortic dissection
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Celiac disease
  • Lyme disease


Cancer is misdiagnosed at an alarming rate in the United States. According to the highly regarded Journal of Clinical Oncology, cancer misdiagnosis in the country occurs at about 28 percent of the time. In cases of certain types of cancer, the misdiagnosis rate is at 44 percent.

Heart Attack

Despite a great deal of publicity about the symptoms of a heart attack, the stark reality is that signs of this type of serious and potentially fatal medical condition can vary significantly from one person to another. Symptoms of a heart attack can differ markedly depending on a person’s age or gender. As a consequence of variably symptoms of heart attack, this medical condition is misdiagnosed at a dangerously high rate.


As with heart attack, symptoms of stroke do vary from one person to another. Moreover, time and again doctors overlook the early signs of stroke. The best chance of an optimal recovery from a strike is immediate diagnosis and prompt medical intervention. Because of failures to diagnosis strokes in a reasonable period of time, this type of lapse forms the basis for a notable number of medical malpractice claims each year in the United States.


A chronic condition, fibromyalgia frequently is misdiagnosed. It commonly is mistaken for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Because it is misdiagnosed many patients go for an extended period of time before receiving proper care and treatment for this serious and even debilitating condition.


Properly diagnosing depression requires a full physical and examination of an individual’s medical history. Because these steps sometimes are short-circuited, depression ends up initially misdiagnosed in many cases.

Thyroid Conditions

Thyroid conditions are commonly misdiagnosed, even mistaken for depression. These conditions represent another situation in which people fail to get proper treatment in a timely manner because of misdiagnosis.

Aortic Dissection

Aortic dissection is a tear in the wall of the aorta. This causes blood to rush through and causes the separation of layers of the aorta. A research study revealed that about one-third of all patients with aortic dissection are initially misdiagnosed.

Pulmonary Embolism

A pulmonary embolism is blockage of the main artery in a person’s lung. This is another medical condition that oftentimes is confused with something else. In fact, over 33 percent of patients with a pulmonary embolism are sent home after presenting themselves to a doctor or even at an emergency room or are misdiagnosed.

Celiac Disease

A shocking number of people with celiac disease are misdiagnosed. Experts maintain that 83 percent of people suffering from celiac disease have not been diagnosed as all or have been misdiagnosed.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease stems from a bacterial infection. The symptoms of Lyme disease are similar to other types of (less serious) medical conditions. Lyme disease frequently is misdiagnosed. On average, a person will labor under Lyme disease for about 15 months before a proper, accurate diagnosis is made by a physician.

If you or a member of your family believe that you’re the victim of medical malpractice, the caring, compassionate, committed legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. You can connect with your firm any time of the day or night by calling (800) 349-0000. Our medical malpractice lawyer hotline is not only staffed 24 hours a day but 365 days a year, including all major holidays.

The Doan Law Firm is a nationwide law practice. We’ve hometown offices located in 40 cities across the United States. We can schedule an initial consultation and case evaluation with a medical malpractice lawyer at any one of our offices, at your home, at the hospital, or at any other location that is convenient for you. We can also arrange a virtual case evaluation with a medical malpractice attorney online. Bear in mind that there is never a charge for an initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm medical malpractice lawyer.

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