With hundreds of millions of people struggling with asthma around the world, there is no good reason that anyone should have to go without a correct diagnosis of this dangerous health condition. However, in one study, around a third of patients were found not to have asthma despite a previous diagnosis of it. Over 90 percent of those misdiagnosed patients were then able to stop their medications for at least a year.
Why would so many patients be misdiagnosed?
This is the tricky issue. The inability to confirm a diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean a patient didn’t have asthma in the past or won’t in the future. One factor is that asthma does tend to clear up on its own in some people, such as those who develop it after an illness. Others may have been initially misdiagnosed and not have had it at all.
What should a doctor do to diagnose you correctly?
With any condition, it is important that your medical provider orders the correct tests. Asthma patients can be diagnosed with this condition by checking spirometry tests and peak-flow meters. Serial bronchial challenge tests can also show and monitor symptoms in many of these patients.
Failing to diagnose asthma accurately can be harmful. It may mean that a patient is misdiagnosed and takes medications they don’t need, or it could mean missing a larger underlying issue, like a heart condition that affects their breathing. A correct diagnosis is essential, so that the patient’s risk of death and serious illness may be reduced.
If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to a misdiagnosis of any condition, it may be wise to talk to an experienced attorney about your legal options.