Most Common Misdiagnosed Conditions

Medical misdiagnosis is frighteningly common and comes with drastic consequences in the United States. It is estimated that 371,000 patients die, and another 424,000 become permanently disabled every year as a result of medical misdiagnosis.

Medical professionals, like other people, are subject to making mistakes and committing errors. However, medical providers are legally obligated to treat patients within an accepted standard of care for their specialty or profession. 

Medical doctors, specialists, and other providers who deviate from this standard of care may be legally liable for the harm incurred as a result. This includes but is not limited to patient medical costs, physical pain, and mental suffering.

If a medical provider’s misdiagnosis caused you to suffer damages, you may be entitled to financial reimbursement and monetary compensation for damages. Contact an experienced Louisville medical malpractice attorney to schedule a case consultation.

What is Medical Misdiagnosis?

Medical misdiagnosis covers a variety of situations. 

These include:

  • The incorrect identification or interpretation of an illness or disease;
  • The late diagnosis of an illness or disease; and
  • The absence of a medical diagnosis.

Some medical illnesses and diseases are more commonly misdiagnosed than others. 

What are the Most Common Misdiagnosed Medical Conditions?

Among the most common misdiagnosed medical conditions are cancer, heart attack or stroke, Lyme disease, and mental illness.


A delayed or undiagnosed cancer can be deadly. Several types of cancer have the potential to spread rapidly through the body and become untreatable. 

A cancer misdiagnosis can cause a patient to undergo radical medical therapy with dangerous side effects. Our Louisville cancer misdiagnosis attorney has seen how a misdiagnosis can also cause extreme emotional and mental strain.

Heart Attack or Stroke 

Heart attack and stroke are commonly misdiagnosed in the United States, especially among the young. More than 600,000 people suffer from a first-time heart attack or stroke every year in the U.S.

Those patients who do not fit accepted heart attack or stroke criteria or lifestyle designators may be misdiagnosed as having suffered a panic attack or bout of severe gas or indigestion. Heart attack and stroke misdiagnosis results in a lack of medical follow-up and treatment for a severe medical condition and possible prevention of a future episode.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a tick bite infection that causes multiple symptoms including but not limited to:

  • Neck and joint pain;
  • Muscle pain;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Stiffness; and
  • Shortness of breath.

Lyme disease symptoms mimic other diseases, such as auto-immune diseases. Failure to diagnose or the delayed diagnosis and proper treatment of Lyme disease can exacerbate the disease and lead to chronic suffering.

Mental Illness

Mental illness is frequently misdiagnosed in the United States and regularly undiagnosed among young people. Patients who are undiagnosed and unmedicated may cause harm to themselves or others.

The same is true of patients who are misdiagnosed and placed on the wrong medications.

What to Do If You Were Medically Misdiagnosed

If you are concerned about a medical misdiagnosis, gather your medical records and seek a second opinion. If you still have concerns, seek help from an experienced Kentucky medical malpractice attorney. 

Contact an Experienced Kentucky Medical Misdiagnosis Attorney Today

The Louisville medical misdiagnosis attorneys at Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC, have more than 30 years of experience representing the injured across Kentucky. We fight large insurance companies to get fair compensation for victims of medical malpractice.

There are no upfront costs or attorney fees unless we win compensation for you. Speak with Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC at (502) 244-7772 to learn more about how we can help you.