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Misdiagnosis of asthma may cause unnecessary medicine intake


Posted on behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Dec 30, 2013 in Failure To Diagnose

Breathing disorders are continuing to grow in Connecticut and the rest of the United States. In fact, one in 12 people have been diagnosed with a breathing ailment like asthma, a condition that causes a wheezing and shortness of breath in a person thus reducing the amount of oxygen being delivered to the bloodstream, brain and other parts of the body. Asthma is treatable with various medicines as well as changes in either environment or daily practices. More than 25 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma; however, not all of them actually have the condition.

According to recent studies, somewhere between 25 and 30 percent of patients labeled with asthma are misdiagnosed. For some people, this means hundreds of dollars spent over many years to treat an ailment they don't have. The Centers for Disease Control has reported that Americans spend over $50 billion on asthma treatments when they could have any number of other breathing difficulties.

For example, shortness of breath and a chronic cough can be the result of heart difficulties or problems within the vocal chords. These symptoms can also be a result of other medicines someone takes on a regular basis. In order to determine whether it is asthma or not, patients should request a breathing test from their medical provider. This will allow both parties to examine the results and determine the best course of action.

In situations where a misdiagnosis leads to thousands of dollars wasted and other symptoms due to unneeded medications, a patient may consider filing a medical malpractice suit against their health care provider. In these circumstances, an attorney who is experienced in medical malpractice law may need to be consulted.

Source: CBS Philly, "Health: Asthma Misdiagnosis Is Common", Stephanie Stahl, December 17, 2013