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Study indicates misdiagnosis of asthma is common

Pennsylvanians will often associate a dangerous misdiagnosis made by a medical professional with cancers, heart attacks, strokes and other life-threatening illnesses or conditions. Other medical problems can also be misdiagnosed and lead to the patient receiving the wrong treatment or medication that is not applicable to them. One such condition is asthma. A recent study indicates that as many as one in three adults who receive the diagnosis of having asthma might not have it.

Researchers examined 613 adults who, in the previous five years, were diagnosed as having asthma. Those who were given medications for asthma were weaned from it in a time span of four visits to a clinic to determine if their lungs were functional without the treatment. 203 of the participants were found not to have asthma. This came to 33 percent. With follow-ups for one year, 181 were still exhibiting sufficient lung function to receive a diagnosis of having asthma.

The doctors stated that they were able to remove patients from the medications to treat the condition. It was determined that some received a misdiagnosis from the start. Some did suffer from asthma, but it was in remission. With those who were misdiagnosed as having asthma, 12 had serious health problems like pulmonary hypertension or heart disease instead of asthma. That came to two percent of the study. Others had gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Some were suffering from hyperventilation because of anxiety.

With a misdiagnosis and treatment for asthma when this was not the problem, the patients were in danger of being harmed. Taking unnecessary medication can be a danger in and of itself and if the person has not received the correct diagnosis, their actual issue can be left untreated and grow worse. When a person goes to a hospital, they are expecting to be diagnosed accurately and given the proper medication and treatment. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. For those who received a wrong diagnosis from a doctor or there was a medication error, there could be the basis for a legal filing to be compensated. The potential case should be discussed with a legal professional experienced in situations in which there was a failure to diagnose to consider how to move forward.

Source: Fox News, "Asthma may be misdiagnosed in many adults," Jan. 18, 2017

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